hall of fame-----------David Havill



Brian David Havill was born in Southampton England on February 4th 1940.

He married Carol in Southampton on February 28, 1958 and has two Daughter Sharon and Paula.

Dave always worked in the transportation industry. He used to work on the steam trains in Southern England and eventually switching to the Buses. Upon emigrating to Canada, he started driving with the then known Kitchener Transit, which eventually became the Grand River Transit Company, where he worked until his retirement in 2005.

David had a huge passion for speedway racing and began riding his beloved sport in England. Upon moving to Canada he ceased riding for a while but found speedway at the Welland Speedway track. He visited the track and started to ride again. His aspirations were to ride strictly for pleasure and he enjoyed many races within the Division 2 banner. Sadly though one bad night he was involved in a nasty crash and his whole hand was severed at the wrist which forced him to give up racing!

Despite this set back, his passion turned to speedway promotion, One of his first attempts of this was at the Central Ontario Exhibition in which riders raced on dirt dumped on a parking lot!

Still looking for a permanent track, he eventually located Paris and formed a relationship with Jim Buck who was on the Paris Fairboard.

In discussions, they formed a plan and a permanent track was build by David and a few ideally suited speedway enthusiasts in the lower bowl of the fairgrounds. Prior to the completion of the track they did however race on the front straightaway of the 1/2 mile horse racing track to build a fan base in the area!

The Paris Fairboard was a passion of David's. His nomination to become President was completed in 2008, which led to the growth of the Fairgrounds with a great new team under David's watchful eye.

One such person was the General manager Russell Press, he had an outstanding relationship working with complete mutual respect for each other. This was very evident at David's funeral when Russ was one of the pall bearers for his "Guvners" ccoffin.

David was a focused individual who was visionary in his outlook, this was very evident when he put in the permanent speedway track. He worked to build it and oversaw the operational running of it right to the end of his life. Those who had the privilege to have worked with David, can all say that he was tough old bird, but was also fair. His British dry wit often caught people off guard and rubbed them the wrong way, but they all came round when they realized he meant no harm to anyone! His passion for speedway was never in question. Despite his health getting worse, he was always at the track grading, repairing items, wiring speakers, cleaning up after meetings, always the last to close the gate at night ensuring his baby was safe!

David was an avid model train collector. His love from working with the real thing from the beginning of his career, cleaning them and completing his apprenticeship to become a fireman and Engineer aboard the steam trains, bought his love to Canada in his creation of a model railway at his home in Kitchener. Many hours were spent with friends and family attending to his collection.

He also enjoyed many hours celebrating his love for puppets, this was very evident in his work within the community with the Maycourt Puppeteers. Even when he was unable to talk and perform due to his illness, he was found behind the scenes helping the other puppeteers. At his funeral very fittingly, his two Grand-Daughters held and performed with his two personal favorites.

Being born Southampton, England, his love for his team the "Saints" was a natural thing. He was very lucky to drive the team bus for many years during his youth, and whenever Carol and David returned to the UK for vacations, they would always go to a game and cheer on his team! In respect to his love of the team, his personal Saints jersey was placed next to his coffin during his funeral service!

Finally David did something he always wanted to, under the Canada section in the Speedway Star magazine, a quick article was presented announcing his sad passing. He would have been very proud!



canadian speedway history

This section of our site is forever growing. Despite its size, Canadian Speedway has been blessed to have some iconic names associated with it, and we are proud to bring this information to you.

Thanks is offered to many contributors including Duncan Luke, Tom Marriott, Roger Stevens and David Hensby for the the information used on this site.