Monday 13 July 2015

Ugly Man Contest

In 1959, the Fisher's Ghost Festival Committee organised a "Back to Campbelltown Week" as part of the festival's celebrations. They decided to organise a novelty competition during this week to replace the Festival Queen contest that had been run since the inaugural year of 1956. This competition was to be an Ugly Man contest where the local candidates representing various community organisations were to raise as much money as possible. The winner was not so much the ugliest man but the one who raised the most money.

On the evening of March 7, 1959 at just after 11pm an afternoon and evening of carnival and contests culminated in the crowning of the Ugly Man by the mayor. The winner of the dubious title of Ugly Man was Les Warby, representing the Rotary Club. He had raised 541 pounds. A crown was placed on his head and a blue sash hung around his shoulders. Second prize went to Ray Percival who raised only 15 pounds less than Les. "I feel proud of the result" said Les Warby. Ray commented "It was one of the happiest times I have had here".

The Ugly Man contest ended up being a one off. The following year was a Mr and Mrs Campbelltown contest with a Mr and Mrs Sharpless winning the honour. The next year saw a return to the Festival Queen quest with the name changed to Miss Spirit. The quest continues today with the Miss Princess contest as part of the Fisher's Ghost Festival held every November.

Les Warby appears to have died on March 14, 1965.

Do you have any memories of the Ugly Man contest? Did you know Les Warby? Please let us know if you do.

Written by Andrew Allen


Campbelltown-Ingleburn News, March 10 1959

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