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Miss World 1962

Por Julio Rodríguez Matute


                The year of 1962 arrived with numerous historical events for humanity. The first active telecommunications satellite was launched, the US intervention in Vietnam and the Cuban missile crisis began. Due to the communist character of the Cuban regime, US President John F. Kennedy ordered an economic blockade against the leaders of the island. The United States continued its nuclear tests in Nevada and the Pacific, American astronaut John Glenn orbited the Earth three times in 4:55 hours, being the first to do so; in Venezuela the “Porteñazo” occurred, an uprising of a naval base in the city of Puerto Cabello against the government of President Rómulo Betancourt, who months before had banned the Communist Party and the MIR (Revolutionary Left Movement), political arms of The guerrilla. Throughout the country the Army fought against armed groups encouraged by Cuba. In the Vatican, Pope John XXIII canonized the Peruvian Martín de Porres, who became the first black-skinned saint in America and, in Chile, the Brazilian national soccer team was proclaimed world champion for the second time after beating Czechoslovakia by 3 to 1, being the second World Cup for the Brazilian soccer star Pelé. On July 14th, Norma Nolan of Argentina is crowned in Miami Beach as Miss Universe, being the third Latin American to obtain the coveted title. On August 5th, in Los Angeles (California), the famous actress Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her room allegedly due to an overdose of barbiturates and that same day the “Sabado Gigante” program hosted by Don Francisco, premiered in Chile being the oldest Latin American television program. In the US, the “Spider-Man” comics were published for the first time; in Spain, Morocco and Jordan the Anglo-American film “Lawrence of Arabia” was finally finished with Peter O’Toole and the British rock band The Rolling Stones was founded in London. And precisely in London, Eric Morley was planning the 12th edition of Miss World.

                Of more than fifty invitations sent via telegram, Cuba and the Soviet Union included, Morley received a positive response from forty countries. The only country that would debut that year would be the Dominican Republic. In Chile, Madagascar and Tunisia no national competitions were held. In Ceylon, the contest “Belle of the Year” whose first edition was held the previous year to send its representative to Miss World, was canceled in 1962 and from India he never received a response. In Burma, a coup d’etat turned the country into a socialist state and beauty contests were banned. That year Nicaragua preferred to send their beauty queen to Miss International and in Peru no representative was selected for Miss World. On the other hand, Ghana gave up sending candidates and the national contest was discontinued for several years from 1962, as happened in Australia, Kenya and Tanzania.

                Meanwhile, the reigning Miss World, Rosemarie Frankland, attended numerous invitations in Great Britain, including the Radio Show where they first presented a sophisticated radio with an incorporated alarm in the month of August and the first photocopier machine presented at the Business Efficiency Exhibition at the Olympia in London on October 9th.


                The election of Miss France 1962 took place on Saturday, February 3rd at Le Havre City Hall among 18 participants. The winner was Miss Côte d’Emeraude, Monique Lemaire, a secretary of 19 years of age and 5 feet 7 inches tall, who was crowned on the transatlantic “France” anchored in the port, earning the right to represent her country in Miss World 1962 and then in Miss Universe 1963.

Miss Holland 1962

                On Sunday, April 29th, at the Amsterdam Casino, the election of “Miss Holland 1962” was celebrated, and among 17 contestants Catharina “Rina” Lodders, 20 years old was chosen as the winner. Rina went to Miss Europe in Beirut becoming the 3rd. Runner-up. She subsequently won the Miss Benelux title in her country, then traveled to Long Beach for Miss International, also standing there as 3rd. Runner-up and then she was preparing to go to London to compete for the title of Miss World.

                On May 16th, in Palma de Mallorca, the “Miss Spain 1962” contest was held, and Maruja García Nicolau, “Miss Palma” was crowned among 20 applicants. María José Torrado, “Miss Galicia”, was chosen as “Miss Nacional” and Concepción “Conchita” Roig Urquiz, “Miss Barcelona” was the runner-up. Weeks later, Maruja won the title of Miss Europe on June 2nd at the Casino Du Liban in Beirut so she could not go to Miss Universe or Miss World. She was replaced by Conchita Roig in both contests.

                On June 19th, the election of Miss Brazil 1962 was held at the Maracanãzinho Gymnasium in Rio de Janeiro with the participation of 23 candidates. The winner went to Miss Universe, the First Runner-up to Miss International and to Miss World, the Second Runner-up, Vera Lucia Saba, 18, of the extinct state of Guanabara. For the second consecutive year, this state sent its representative to the English contest.

Bethsabé Franco

                The ninth edition of the Miss Venezuela contest was held in Caracas on June 27th, 1962 at the Paris Theater (later known as Teatro La Campiña), with the participation of 13 candidates. In an atypical year, the winner was Miss Anzoátegui, Olga Antonetti Núñez, 17 (tragically deceased on December 12th, 1968, when the Pan Am plane, flight 217 from New York, where the ex-beauty queen came with her little daughter to spend Christmas with her family, crashed into the sea near Maiquetía airport). Olguita, as they affectionately called her, went to Miss International (where she was a semifinalist) and not to Miss Universe supposedly because she was not 18 years old. To Miss Universe went the Second Runner-up, Miss Nueva Esparta Virginia Bailey and to Miss World, the First Runner-up, Miss Aragua Bethsabé Franco. This was the first time that the maximum Venezuelan beauty pageant was broadcasted on television, through RCTV.

                On Sunday, September 2nd, the election of Miss Italy 1962 was held at Salsomaggiore Terme, an event organized by Enzo Mirigliani. The winner was Miss Umbria, Rafaella de Carolis, 19 years old and 5 feet 7 inches tall, who had the honor of representing her country in Miss World.

                Although Morley disagreed with the inclusion of married women in beauty pageants, Jackie White, a 20-year-old housewife from Derbyshire, wife of Mayfair Financial Analyst, Adrian Jacobs and mother of a two-year-old girl named Tracie Jacobs, became the new “Miss United Kingdom 1962” on Tuesday, September 4th at the Open-Air Bath in Blackpool, beating another 35 candidates. Jackie was the only married woman who participated that year in Miss World and the last married contestant in the history of the world famous beauty event. From that year Morley changed the official rules and prohibited the participation of married women in the contest. However, due to error or omission, the participation of single mothers was not prohibited in the registration contract, an issue that caused Morley problems twelve years later …

Miss United Kingdom 1962, the last married woman to compete in Miss World up to 2019

                In Canada, the organizers of the “Miss Maple Leaf” contest had started the castings for the national final in April 1962 but the contest did not take place. Then, the rights of the Miss World contest passed to the organizers of the “Miss Dominion of Canada” pageant, and on Friday May 18th, the Toronto representative, Marilyn McFatridge was crowned. Marilyn went to Miss Universe in Miami Beach where she qualified among the semifinalists and also she had to represent her country in Miss World months later. However, the Canadian Beauty Spectacular Limited company, owner of the event, announced on Monday, September 17th that Marilyn’s title had been revoked because she had endorsed a product using her title in the United States. Instead, the organizers named the Second Runner-up, Marlene Leeson, 19, of the town of Scotia near Huntsville, Ontario, as the new “Miss Dominion of Canada” and was the Canadian representative in London. It is not known the exact reasons why the First Runner-up, Romaine Jenkinson of Edmonton, was not considered. When she protested, the organizers argued that there had been no official “ranking” among the finalists.

                Forty-four beauties competed on Saturday, September 22nd for the “Miss USA” to Miss World title in Huntington, West Virginia. The winner was Miss California, Amedee Chabot, 17 years old and 5 feet 8 inches tall. The finalists were Lithrona Rozier of Florida, Pat Franklin of New York, Linda Kennon of Los Angeles and Marilyn Nordman of Alabama.

                The election of Miss Argentina for Miss World was held on October 23rd and was broadcast on channels 7, 9 and 11 of local television. This time the winner won the title of “Miss Lux Argentina” as the contest was sponsored by the famous brand of soaps. The winner was Miss Santa Fe, María Amelia Ramírez, 17; after a tie with Miss Jujuy, Ana María Soria, María Amelia would finally take the title. The third place was gotten by Miss Mendoza, María Teresa Coll. Among the awards, María Amelia received a sports car (Fiat 600) and a Cibelina leather stole. 23 candidates participated in the competition and it was organized by Paloma Efron known as “Blackie”, who was the hostess of the event.


                Morley initially expected the participation of 40 contestants and sent confirmation telegrams to those countries that had not sent flight itinerary of their representatives yet. The first casualties were the candidates from Lebanon (Nouhad El Cabbabe), the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (Philda Ragland) and Tahiti (Vaea Bennett) the latter because she received offers to make films. On the other hand, the Miss Suriname contest was held at the end of October and the winner did not have time to do the visa paperwork so the organizers decided that Virginia Blanche Hardjo went to the contest the following year. Although they had sent photos and personal data that were published in the “program book” of that year, the South American Miss Bolivia (Rose Marie Lederer Aguilera) and Miss Paraguay (María Isabel Maas Uhl) did not travel to London, perhaps due to economic issues.


Miss Austria and Miss Holland

        Although the 1962 Miss World contest was scheduled to be held between November 1st and the 9th, some candidates began arriving in London days before. The first to arrive was Miss South Africa, who made an appearance at the Heathrow International Airport of the British capital carrying her pet FruFru, a stuffed giraffe that she brought as a national gift, on Friday, October 26th. Later, on Tuesday the 30th, Miss Uruguay, Miss Japan and Miss Free China arrived. The next day, Wednesday the 31st, a large group of contestants arrived, including representatives from Iceland, Spain, Argentina, Italy, Canada, Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Belgium and New Zealand. Finally, on the official day of arrival (Thursday, November 1st), the girls from the United States, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Austria, Venezuela, France, Germany, Brazil, Ireland and the United Kingdom, among others, arrived in the city. When interviewed upon arrival at the airport, Miss United States warned reporters that she was an exponent of weightlifting and judo while flexing a muscle. She said the weightlifting had helped her build her 36-21-36 figure and calculated that it would help her win the contest. Miss United Kingdom arrived at the St. Pancras rail terminal, and posed for photos on the diesel car that had brought her from Derby along with driver Leslie Hopkins and his co-pilot, Brian Weild, both from Derby. In the other hand, Miss Uruguay told the journalists that her beauty was hereditary and that her older sister had been Miss Uruguay in 1957.


Miss Free China

                Many of the girls who were participating in the Miss World contest had arrived for the 1st. November and many of them did not speak English. And at the Waldorf Hotel where they were staying, the language difficulties had been overcome by an elaborate calling system that worked with transistor radios. “Each girl has her own call signs and her chaperone carries a transistor with her all the time,” explained the head of chaperones, Miss G. Gibbons.




Miss Holland and Miss Germany

                On Friday, November 2nd, the first official activity of the contest was held, which was the Presentation to the media at the Lyceum Ballroom in London, where 27 of the 28 contestants who had arrived so far posed for reporters in the usual group photo in swimsuit. They were: Miss ARGENTINA (María Amelia Ramírez), Miss AUSTRIA (Inge Jaklin), Miss BELGIUM (Christine Delit), Miss BRAZIL (Vera Lucia Saba David), Miss CANADA (Marlene Leeson), Miss FREE CHINA (Roxsana LS Chiang), Miss CYPRUS (Magda Michaelides), Miss DENMARK (Rikke Stisager), Miss FINLAND (Kaarina Marita Leskinen), Miss FRANCE (Monique Lemaire), Miss GERMANY (Anita Steffen), Miss GREECE (Jasmin Moraitou), Miss HOLLAND (Catharina “Rina” Johanna Lodders), Miss ICELAND (Rannveig Olafsdóttir), Miss ITALY (Rafaella de Carolis), Miss JAPAN (Teruko Ikeda), Miss JORDAN (Leila Emile Khadder), Miss KOREA (Tae-ja Chung), Miss LUXEMBOURG (Brita Gerson), Miss NEW ZEALAND (Maureen Te Rangi Rere I Waho Kingi), Miss SOUTH AFRICA (Yvonne Maryann Ficker), Miss SPAIN (Concepción “Conchita” Roig Urquiz), Miss SWEDEN (Margareth Melin), Miss UNITED KINGDOM (Jackeline “Jackie” White), Miss URUGUAY (María Noel Genovese Berisso), Miss UNITED STATES (Amedee Chabot) and Miss VENEZUELA (Bethsabé De Jesús Franco Blanco). Miss IRELAND (Muriel O’Hanlon) had arrived in the British capital without a bathing suit so that she went to buy one with her chaperone. When she arrived at the Lyceum Ballroom the group photo session was over. As a novelty this year, the candidates wore numbers on their arms so they could be easily identified by the press. After the presentation, representatives from France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States began to be considered as favorites. On this occasion, all the candidates wore one-piece swimsuits.

27 of the contestants during the Press Presentation


                Early on the morning of Friday the 2nd, Jamaican Chriss Leon, who had been selected as Miss Jamaica for Miss World 1961 and who was living in London working as a typist at the time, went to the Waldorf Hotel, venue of the contest. When she introduced herself as Miss Jamaica, the managers looked for her on the list and, obviously, her name did not appear. Then she explained that she had arrived by boat in Southampton a year before but her chaperone had not allowed her to disembark to participate and that she had to return to her country, but that she was still Miss Jamaica. Morley was waiting for a representative from the Caribbean island but her data never reached his offices in London and told the media that “they would have to consider whether she was still eligible to participate”. Confirming that Jamaica would be absent from the beauty contest, Morley spoke with Miss Leon to see if she was available to participate in the contest, which she delightedly accepted without being prepared for the fray.

                When asked by the media, the Caribbean beauty said that when the Miss World contest was due to start she wrote to Eric Morley, managing director of Mecca Dancing who sponsored the contest, and reminded him that she had not been able to take part last year.
“I only wanted to remind Mr. Morley and tell him that I was disappointed,” she said. “In that letter I asked if I might have a ticket to attend the event, just so that I could see what it would have been like.” But to her complete surprise she received a telegram telling her to call at Mr. Morley’s office. “I asked my boss for time off and he agreed. You can imagine my surprise when I saw Mr. Morley and he asked me if I would take part in the contest,” Chriss said. And take part she did!.


Miss Greece and Miss Belgium

                On Saturday, November 3rd, the 29 contestants who had so far arrived in the British capital toured the city visiting numerous sites of interest, including Buckingham Palace, where they signed autographs to other tourists. That day two more candidates arrived in the city of London: Miss ISRAEL (Ilana Porat) and Miss PORTUGAL (Palmira Ferreira).

                On Sunday the 4th the beauties attended the church, went to the Lyceum Ballroom to rehearse and in the evening attended an elegant dinner at the Duke of Bedford’s Mansion in Woburn Abbey. This dinner was not attended by Miss France and Miss Belgium who remained in bed by doctor’s order due to a strong flu. That Sunday, Miss ECUADOR (Elaine Nina Ortega Hougen) arrived in the city. On Monday the 5th, the girls visited the House of Commons, in the Palace of Westminster, where they had lunch with the parliamentarians. Miss Portugal broke off in the middle of the visit with a stinker of a cold. She too was put to bed. Doctors said all three contestants were likely to be fit for the judging on Thursday night.

Miss Japan and Miss USA

                South Africa’s contestant, Yvonne Ficker, got into hot water on the spot where Guy Fawkes tried to blow up Parliament 357 years before. Uniformed custodians stopped her just in time from taking a photograph in the House of Commons. Taking photographs in the Palace of Westminster, where the Lords and the Commons meet, is a serious offence. Particularly when Parliament is in session – as it was that day. The anniversary of Guy Fawkes’ unsuccessful gunpowder plot was marked throughout the country that night by youngsters burning his effigy and letting off fireworks. The 18-year-old green-eyed South African model was touring the Houses of Parliament with 29 other Miss World contestants when the incident occurred. She had just aimed her reflex camera and flash-gun when the uniformed custodians rushed up and told her photography was definitely not permitted. Later, at lunch in the members ’dining room, Miss South Africa – the incident well behind her – proposed a vote of thanks to the girls’ hosts. It was seconded by Miss Brazil, Vera Lucia Saba, an 18-year-old brown-eyed student with a 35-22-35 figure. Her speech in Portuguese was translated by her chaperone. The girls were delighted with their tour. Several of them asked about Guy Fawkes and his unsuccessful plot so they were taken down to the crypt where Guy and his fellow plotters had piled their barrels of gunpowder. Miss France felt better from her flu although she was still feeling groggy. That night, the contestants attended a dinner at the Pigalle Club.

                On Tuesday, November 6th, the Miss World entrants attended a lunch organized by the Variety Club at the Savoy Hotel, in honor of the “Camping King” Billy Butlin, all dressed in their traditional costumes and where Butlin was honored for his donations to charity. At the appointment, the candidates brought their national gifts that were auctioned to help the “Sunshine Coaches for Children”. The celebration was attended by movie and theater stars as well as numerous Butlin friends, including singer Dora Bryan. That afternoon they visited the Smithfield Meat Market and at night 30 of them went to a dance dinner at the Stork Club, in Streatham Hill (Miss Belgium and Miss Portugal did not attend because they didn’t feel well).


                On Wednesday, November 7th, in the morning hours, the last candidate arrived. Miss INDIA (Ferial Karim) who was actually a surprise because she had not been expected. The 23-year-old girl who had been an Air India flight attendant and was working as an actress said she was barely elected in recent days and that her delay was due to the dispute between the border of India and China that ended in a bloody war and that kept people busy in these events. The ones who definitely did not arrive in London despite having been expected were Miss TURKEY (Zeynep Ziyal) who preferred to marry and leave with her husband to her honeymoon and Miss DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (Carolina Nouel) who disappeared without a trace … This country was the only one that was going to debut in the contest in 1962 and in the end did not show up. Regarding the absence of eight national queens, “The international situation has affected us a lot,” said contest director Eric Morley. That Wednesday, in the morning hours, the participants attended the Lyceum Ballroom where they made some prerecordings for the BBC with their national costumes and later made the Dress Rehearsal with bathing suits. According to Morley, the candidates had become very good friends since they arrived in London. Miss Israel had asked to share a room with Miss Jordan and Miss USA did not want to separate from the representative of the United Kingdom.

Miss Dominican Republic in the 1962 Miss World Program Book. She never arrived in London.
National Costumes were prerecorded

                Finally, the most anticipated day for all 33 candidates, the one of the Miss World Grand Final, arrived. From early on, the participants attended a beauty salon to get prepared beautifully for the election. The British bookmakers had made Amedee Chabot, Miss United States, and Monique Lemaire, Miss France, the big favorites with 7-1 and 10-1 respectively for the title of Miss World. But a late entry – 23-year-old Ferial Karim of India – threatened to bring a change in the odds before the contest opened that day. The bookies made their ratings on photographs appearing in newspapers. Brown-haired Miss India had not yet posed her 36-24-37 figure before London newsmen. Miss United States pulled what may have been a last-minute coup with a coiffure. She did not show up with the others at the same beauty parlor and disclosed she was selecting her own hairdresser.


                At 7:15 p.m. on Thursday, November 8th, the doors of the Lyceum Ballroom were opened to the public for the election of Miss World 1962, an event organized by Mecca Dancing. At 7:55 the musical overture by Joe Loss and his orchestra began and at 8 o’clock at night, eight trumpeters of the Royal Band of Horse Guards, with the permission of Colonel Julian Berry made the fanfare that began officially to the contest. David Preedy, Manager of Lyceum introduced Eric Morley, Director of the event who gave the usual welcome words. He then proceeded to present the 9 members of the judges, they were:

1- Lord John Jacob Astor, Anglo-American journalist and owner of “The Times of London”.

2- British actress, singer and comedian Gracie Fields.

3- Scottish writer Leslie McDonnell (who replaced businessman Billy Butlin at the last minute).

4- American actor and comedian Bob Hope.

5- Charles Eade, journalist and member of the Council of the Commonwealth Press Union, who was the Chairman of the Judges after several years of absence.

6- Lady Margaret Simons-Kimberley, of the British High Society.

7- Baron Lord Robert John Graham Boothby.

8- Mrs. Jenifer Unite-Armstrong-Jones, wife of Mayor Ronald Armstrong-Jones.

9- Irish-born British film actor Richard Todd.

                After the parade of the candidates in what was called “Nations of the World” and the customary intonation of the British National Anthem, the 33 candidates paraded in their evening gowns individually and in alphabetical order being introduced by Morley. The participants were divided into two groups, the first from Argentina to India and the second from Ireland to Venezuela. After a musical intermission by the Joe Loss orchestra, the candidates were introduced in swimsuits equally in alphabetical order and in two groups, with the same tradition of the pages and the capes. Then the 15 semifinalists were selected. They were: Miss ARGENTINA (María Amelia Ramírez, 17, of Santa Fe); Miss BELGIUM (Christine Delit, 22, of Liege); Miss DENMARK (Rikke Stisager, 19, of Aalborg); Miss FINLAND (Kaarina Marita Leskinen, 17, from Helsinki); Miss FRANCE (Monique Lemaire, 20, from Morsang sur-orge); Miss HOLLAND (Catharina “Rina” Johanna Lodders, 20, of Haarlem); Miss INDIA (23-year-old Ferial Karim from Bombay); Miss ISRAEL (19-year-old Ilana Porat, from Tel-Aviv); Miss JAMAICA (Chriss Leon, 20, of Kingston); Miss JAPAN (Teruko Ikeda, 20, of Himeji); Miss SOUTH AFRICA (Yvonne Maryann Ficker, 18, from Johannesburg); Miss UNITED KINGDOM (Jackeline “Jackie” White, 20, of Alvaston, Derbyshire); Miss URUGUAY (María Noel Genovese Berisso, 18, of Montevideo), Miss UNITED STATES (Amedee Chabot, 17, of Northridge, California); and Miss VENEZUELA (Bethsabé De Jesús Franco Blanco, 20, from Caracas).

The 33 candidates in evening gowns

                Morley then introduced the Master of Ceremonies, Peter West to briefly interview the semifinalists. West was helped with an interpreter for those who did not speak English and asked the girls about their stay in London and their plans for the future. The answers were very diverse. For example, Miss Belgium said she wanted to study Psychology; Miss Israel expected to become a good mother; Miss United Kingdom wanted to open a boutique of her own; Miss Uruguay, who was studying Medicine, wanted to simply finish her career. The broadcast of the contest through the BBC began at 9:30 at night and was 45 minutes of uninterrupted transmission, with comments for television by David Coleman, with some prerecorded segments and was live and direct during the announcement of the last 8 finalists (this year there were eight finalists due to a tie in the seventh position). The eight lucky ones were Miss BELGIUM, Miss DENMARK, Miss FINLAND, Miss FRANCE, Miss HOLLAND, Miss JAPAN, Miss SOUTH AFRICA and Miss UNITED STATES.

                Peter West proceeded to interview the 8 finalists for the television audience while the judges evaluated the candidates for their deportment. After the judges issued their final verdict, Eric Morley proceeded to announce the results, as was customary, in reverse order, starting with fifth place, while the eight finalists awaited the decision backstage. The rotating stage moved slowly until a stairway leading to a golden throne appeared.

A group of semifinalists

                In fifth place, with a prize of £ 100, was Miss JAPAN, Teruko Ikeda; in the fourth position and with £ 150, Miss SOUTH AFRICA, Yvonne Maryann Ficker; in third place, Miss FRANCE, Monique Lemaire with a £ 250 prize; in second place, Miss FINLAND, Kaarina Marita Leskinen, who won 500 pounds sterling prize. All the finalists received small trophies in the form of a globe and the first two also obtained small tiaras on their heads. Miss Japan, who had won fifth place, also wore a tiara over her head, but this was a personal ornament she had worn since her first evening gown parade.

The new Miss World is congratulated by Miss France and Miss Finland

                And MISS WORLD 1962 … Miss HOLLAND, Catharina “Rina” Johanna Lodders, who apparently was the sentimental favorite of the public, a brunette with green eyes and dark brown hair, a professional Model, with 5 feet 7 inches in height, and anatomical measurements 37-23-37, who climbed the stairs, sat on the throne while her predecessor placed on her shoulders a mantle of violet velvet embroidered in ermine. The brand new Miss World was then crowned by the outgoing Miss World, the British Rosemarie Frankland and received the scepter and the trophy from Bob Hope. Catharina received as a prize, in addition to her crown, trophy, scepter and ermine cloak, a check for 2500 pounds sterling (about $ 7,000 of the time) given by Alan B. Fairley of Mecca Dancing, as well as a film test of Columbia Pictures, and the possibility of obtaining thousands of pounds more in personal presentations during her year of reign.


Catharina Lodders, Miss World 1962

                “I will put the money in the bank and let it stay there until I get married,” she told reporters. Modestly, the new Miss World, who confessed to being a golf and a driving fast sports cars lover, added, “Oh, no, I’m not the most beautiful girl in the world.” “If the judges are right, I’m just the most beautiful girl here. Being the most beautiful of 33 is not the same as being the most beautiful girl in the world”. “My pick was Miss USA”. When asked if she planned a film career, Catharina said: “I am not an actress, I am a model.” “I have a boyfriend but I don’t know if we will get married. Now I will travel the world,” said the Dutch woman to finish. The beautiful Miss World received a standing ovation from the audience that filled London’s Lyceum Ballroom.

                Not all the girls were happy with the results; Miss Italy left the theater when she knew she was eliminated. Subsequently, the Coronation Ball was held at the Café de Paris, where Morley presented the prizes to sixth place (Miss Belgium with 50 pounds sterling), to seventh place (Miss Denmark with 25 pounds) and to eighth place (Miss United States, also with 25 pounds sterling).

The brand new Miss World 1962 and her runner-ups

                By the way, it caused a lot of surprise that the American girl, who was the big favorite, did not get a place among the first five winners. Her manager, Alfred Patricelli, bemoaned her finishing way down the list as “the biggest robbery since Jesse James.”
“In 30 years of the beauty pageant business,” Patricelli said, “this Miss U.S.A. has the best combination of beauty, face and figure (36-21-36) – one of the finest that I have ever seen.” Patricelli said his biggest complaint was that she did not place among the first five. He said he believed the reason is that the judges, who included Bob Hope, didn’t have enough time to study the girls. Miss Chabot was in tears as she watched newsmen and photographers scrambling around Miss Lodders. “I guess the best girl always wins,” she said. “I’ve no complaints. I had a marvelous time while I was here. I’m going back to school. After that, I’ll concentrate on an acting career.” With tears in her eyes, she told another reporter: “It was a honest contest, cross my heart, it was. Every girl who took part was a beauty.” Asked if she would try again, she replied: “No, definitely not. The whole thing is too nerve racking. I’m going back to high school.” She said she was delighted that she had taken part as she always wanted to see England. Patricelli said she would take a week’s vacation in Paris and then fly home.

                Bob Hope decided that instead of the Miss World winner, he would invite Miss United States this time to the customary Christmas tour visiting the troops, this time at US bases in the Pacific Ocean. It was clear who was his favorite !! Another judge, Baron Boothby said he had voted for Miss Holland and for Miss France.

                Three of the candidates were interviewed after the contest and none admitted wanting the title. Miss Venezuela said that she wanted to travel. “If I had won, I would have used the money on that. I didn’t want a film career.” Miss United Kingdom said that if she had won she would have used her fame in obtaining a job with which she could earn a lot of money. And Miss Ecuador confessed that if she had won, she would have given all her money to her father, of whom she was a secretary.

                On the other hand, Miss Jamaica said “It was wonderful. I never thought I would reach the Top 15. Just participating would have been exciting enough, but overcoming the first cut was a wonderful thing”. “After the contest I would return to work. I have a very understanding boss”, she said. “He was marvellous in letting me have the time off”. While Miss Finland, who came to second place, simply said that her prize money would be used to buy a new house for her family. And the outgoing Miss World, Rosemarie Frankland, confessed to the media that although she had gained about 20 thousand pounds during her reign year, in addition to jewelry, two mink coats and another of “Renard”, she also had the need for a psychiatrist and three personal doctors, in addition to a good amount of medication before finishing the twelve months of her reign. G. Gibbons of the Miss World staff said that next year she expected to have more African countries in the contest and her wish was to have all the nations of the communist bloc in the beauty competition.


                Catharina “Rina” Johanna Lodders was born on January 28th, 1942 in Haarlem, the Netherlands. Her father Kees was an inspector of the KLM and her mother, Tiny, was a housewife. She has a brother named Kees just like her father. “Rina” was a professional model, she was passionate about golf and driving fast sports cars. On April 29th, 1962, she won the crown of “Miss Holland”, an event that took her first to “Miss Europe” held in Lebanon on June 2nd (where she qualified as 3rd Runner-up). Catharina was going to Miss Universe, but the organizers of Miss International demanded that the titleholder should be sent to them, since the winner of the 1961 edition had been Miss Holland, so then the First Runner-up was sent to Miss Universe. “Rina” went later to”Miss Benelux” in her country where she won the crown on July 28th. After that she went to “Miss International” in Long Beach on August 18th (where she also arrived as 3rd Runner-up) and from there she finally traveled to London where on November 8th she was chosen as “Miss World” achieving the second crown for Holland in four years. After obtaining the title she took her parents on vacation to New York. She was engaged to the owner of a garage in Amsterdam, who was proud that the beauty of his girlfriend had been recognized. Fifteen days after winning the “Miss World” crown, Catharina began to travel a lot, visited almost every country in western Europe, went to the Philippines, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the United States, among others.

                Upon returning from one of her trips she found that her boyfriend Hans Elsinga was dating another girl. After a scene of jealousy, the man pushed her out of his car and dragged her for several meters as her dress got caught in the door of the vehicle. The incident broke the engagement and they only saw each other again in court. In January 1963, during a trip to Manila, she met Ernest Evans, better known as “Chubby Checker” (singer who invented the twist dance and was therefore called the “King of the Twist”), who then was 22 years old. In November 1963, Catharina returned to London to crown her successor. “I don’t believe”, she told the media, “that having obtained the title of Miss World has changed me at all. I don’t like to change. All I want is to be myself. But in my country there are people who don’t understand or admit this”.

Rina Lodders and Chubby Checker

                On December 12th, 1963 Lodders accepted the marriage proposal of Chubby Checker at his parents’ house, a mansion of 18 rooms and valued at more than USD75,000 in Philadelphia. Chubby’s mother, Mrs. Ertie Evans did not initially agree with the relationship. They finally married on April 12th, 1964 at the Temple Lutheran Church in Pennsauken, New Jersey, in a private ceremony for 200 guests and blessed by Rev. George L. Harver, who officiated his first interracial marriage. The godfather was Chubby’s brother, Tracy Evans and the godmother, Catharina’s cousin, Rineke Stennberg. After the wedding, the couple went to live in a luxurious house in Paoli, Pennsylvania. On December 8th, 1966, their first daughter, Bianca Johanna Evans, was born. Later the couple had two more children, Ilka Evans (owner of the Zoetbathlatier company) and Shan Egan Evans (who was a singer of the rock band Funk Church in Philadelphia).

               “Rina” currently lives in Malvern, Pennsylvania, USA and continues to be happily married. Today Mrs. Evans advises girls who want to live the dream of being Miss World: “Do not let the title go to your head. When the year of reign ends you could wake up the next day and find that you have become again an ordinary girl”. With reference to her 1962 experience, she said that it had been a great year in which she earned a lot of money. “It expanded my social circle, otherwise I suppose I would have never met my husband.”

“Rina” Lodders in the 80s


                Some of the 1962 participants became actresses, for example, Miss United States, Amedee Chabot, who made 24 films in Hollywood and Mexico between 1966 and 1968; Miss Argentina, María Amelia Ramírez, who made films between 1963 and 1978; Miss Spain, Conchita Roig, who participated in the TV series “Style” in 1962; Miss Uruguay, María Noel Genovese, film and television actress between 1963 and 1997; and Miss Italy, Raffaella De Carolis, who participated in an Italian film in 1963.

The Venezuelan Bethsabé Franco in 2017 wearing the same National Costume she wore back in 1962. Thanks to Toni Hidalgo.


Thanks to Donald West, Daryl Schabinger and Stefan Hoven Lieuw Choy


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