Pre-Daryl Ainsley Memorial Meeting Get-Together at Forage Café From 6.30pm, Thursday, March 21
Saturday, May 12, 2018, news of the tragedy spread like wildfire. Fifty-two year old Daryl Ainsley had died early that morning in a single car accident near the family crib at Tautuku in the Catlins. Testimony of Daryl’s mana was never better illustrated than by his funeral on Friday, May 18; Cromwell’s largest according to community opinion.
Unfortunately time restraints at the church meant many were unable to give eulogies or share memories. A disappointment the Central Motor Speedway committee is addressing with an open invitation to get together from 6.30pm on Thursday, March 21 in Forage Café at The Gate Hospitality & Tourist Centre as a build up to the Daryl Ainsley Memorial Meeting on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23.
As speedway promoter Jason Scott explains, “It could be said Daryl was a man of three sports. In his 20’s it was rugby where he was a skilled halfback for Cromwell. Then in his 30’s, ‘Mr 110 percent’ focussed on multi-sport competing in three Coast-to-Coast races and in his 40’s caught the speedway bug in a big way. Those were his passions but he also played rugby league and squash, got into chess and will long be remembered as DJ Dazza. In business, all credit to him for going from the hand piece in his early 20’s to building Ainsley Shearing, formerly owned by his late father, into one of the South’s most successful. He was also a dedicated father, son and brother.
“We’re keen for word to get around that Thursday, March 21 from 6.30pm at Forage Café is an opportunity to give those eulogies, share memories, mix and mingle and maybe those from Daryl’s distant and more immediate past to, with a little Dutch courage, get up to tell tall tales and share experiences. Chances are the night’s MC, Glen Christiansen will reveal another side of Daryl, and that was the mentoring and support he gave so many.
“During his nine years at Central Motor Speedway, Daryl made a huge impact, and it wasn’t just his driving. He joined the committee and then in 2015 was elected club president. After sorting his shearing gangs, most days of the week Daryl could be found at the track on mower with his mobile up to his ear. He also ran PD boys on Saturday mornings and shortly before his death, put 110 percent into installing an irrigation system. Daryl’s quiet but firm manner helped secure the club’s track lease until 2025. At the time of his death Daryl was leading the charge for going forward from there.
“As a club we haven’t done a lot of talking about a key reason for having the Daryl Ainsley Memorial Meeting. As much as it’s a last farewell to Daryl, it’s to start generating funds for a permanent memorial to him and also the speedway’s builder, Ron Spriggs. Part of this fund raising will be commemorative t-shirts and wrist bands.”
To show just how popular Daryl was with his fellow speedway drivers, Jason reports that March 22 and 23 will see huge fields with, to date, 22 super saloons including 2NZ Chris Cowling and 3NZ Ian Burson, 25 saloons, close to 20 sprintcars, and 10 each for youth ministocks, six shooters and productions. Gates open at 3pm with racing from 5pm.