August 14, 2022

Jack Robust got here to Canada within the Nineteen Twenties from Australia to wrestle, carry out vaudeville and run his personal touring present.

The content material of the article

You may suppose that skilled wrestlers have thick pores and skin. However it isn’t at all times the case.

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Within the Could 3, 1929, Vancouver Solar newspaper, sports activities editor Andy Little referred to as native wrestler Jack Robust “fats”. And Robust was so livid that he referred to as Little and demanded a retraction.

“In a deep bass voice quivering with pleasure, Mr. Robust calls for that this reporter apologize for calling him Jack McLaughlin’s fattened playmate in chilly press,” Little wrote in his Could seventh column for the Sport Rays.

“I confess that I’m not an professional in what constitutes “thickness” in a contemporary wrestler. And but I’ve a suspicion that almost all of them are simply that.

“The Lewis Strangler is unquestionably plump; Stanley Zbyszko shouldn’t be a legume; Jathrinda Gobar weighed virtually 1 / 4 of a ton, and Leo L’Hero, the Lion, as you realize, as soon as ate 28 ears of corn dipped in ghee and demanded some strong meals to fulfill his starvation.

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Nevertheless, Robust informed Little, “You’ll be able to say no matter you need about my wrestling, but when I am fats, it is none of your online business. You could apologize or I’ll sue you. ”

Little squeaked out what else Robust had mentioned he would do to him. For encouragement, Little requested fellow wrestler George Kotsonaros if he had offended Robust. Kotsonaros laughed and mentioned: “I might say he’s fats … have a look at how he has rolls on his abdomen.”

Robust might have been upset that he ran a “bodily schooling college” at 761 Kingsway outdoors the ring.

“Elementary coaching in wrestling and boxing,” learn his college’s card. “Physique magnificence, discount and therapeutic massage”.

Robust’s card turned up in an outdated scrapbook that MacLeod’s Books had ten years in the past. The scrapbook seems to have been owned by Robust himself, and contained posters and newspaper clippings of Robust’s profession as a wrestler and vaudeville performer.

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Sure, that is proper, when Robust was not in wrestling tights, he carried out energy and acrobatic stunts, the latter with a accomplice. There was a shocking picture of Robust’s Chinatown photographer Yucho Chou performing with a lady on a pole, which Robust holds to his face.

Undated publicity photo of Jack Strong holding a woman, probably for a vaudeville act.  Marked
Undated publicity picture of Jack Robust holding a lady, most likely for a vaudeville act. Marked “circa 1925” in pencil and stamped by Yucho Chow Studio, 23 Pender St. W., Vancouver, verso. Vancouver Solar

In response to a 1969 dying certificates, Robust was born in Bern, Switzerland on October 1, 1969. 10, 1892. The primary scrapbook clippings had been from Australia, the place Robust marketed himself as “Superman from a 10-man energy marvel present.”

How did he show it? The poster states that he “twisted and broke a horseshoe, drove a four-inch nail right into a one-inch board along with his naked fists, twisted horseshoe nails along with his fingers, and bent half-inch iron along with his enamel.”

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His dying certificates says he lived in Canada for 45 years, which implies he immigrated right here round 1924. In Canada, he was declared the Australian middleweight champion (he weighed 160 kilos) and the Mighty Atom, which means that he was not that tall.

An undated poster said that he additionally carried out “a straitjacket escape, dance magic and pure enjoyable”. He is holding a vaudeville performer in one other image of Yucho Chow, and he is additionally posing as a wrestler, carrying a kind of old-school one-piece strongman fits with a single strap slung over his shoulder, like Tarzan or Hercules.

The lady could also be vaudeville performer Pat LaBelle, who has been billed as “the Houdini girl”. She might have been Robust’s girlfriend – he captioned the {photograph} of her as “my expensive Pat, Johnny.” However she died in a automotive accident in 1930, when she was solely 23 years outdated.

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Labelle and her sister had been a part of Jack Robust’s Surprise Novelty Present, which seems to have toured British Columbia and Alberta within the mid to late Nineteen Twenties. On one of many posters, the present was titled The Nice Omar, “The Man of Many Mysteries” and “India’s Best Crystal Viewer”.

The Miracle Present additionally featured Escapo, an escape artist, Child Ulele, a hula dancer, Professor Wright and his Woman Troupe of Jiu-Jitsu Consultants, Wally Pullman, a banjo wizard, and Jack and Jill, “progressive dancers”.

Alas, Robust’s multi-faceted profession didn’t appear to make him wealthy – after his wrestling profession ended, he labored on the shipyard, taught bodily schooling on the Western Sports activities Heart on Hastings Avenue. He died in Vancouver on June 20, 1969 on the age of 76.

jmackie@postmedia.com

Various clippings of wrestler and vaudeville performer Jack Strong found in an old scrapbook in Vancouver.
Numerous clippings of wrestler and vaudeville performer Jack Robust present in an outdated scrapbook in Vancouver. Photograph by Steve Bosch Steve Bosch /Vancouver Solar
Jack Strong in a classic wrestling pose.  He doesn't look fat, as Sun sports editor Andy Little suggested.
Jack Robust in a basic wrestling pose. He does not look fats, as Solar sports activities editor Andy Little urged.
Undated publicity photo of Jack Strong holding a woman, probably for a vaudeville act.  Marked
Undated publicity picture of Jack Robust holding a lady, most likely for a vaudeville act. Marked “circa 1925” in pencil and stamped by Yucho Chow Studio, 23 Pender St. W., Vancouver, verso. PNG
An undated publicity photo of Jack Strong with an unknown performer, probably for a vaudeville act.  Marked
An undated publicity picture of Jack Robust with an unknown performer, most likely for a vaudeville act. Marked “circa 1925” in pencil and stamped by Yucho Chow Studio, 23 Pender St. W., Vancouver, verso. PNG

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