A Complimentary Luncheon
Publication:
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 10 Sep 1931, p. 181-185


Description
Creator:
Don, Kaye, Speaker
Media Type:
Text
Item Type:
Speeches
Description:
Some of the speaker's personal experiences with Canada and Canadians, especially during the war at Vimy Ridge. Some words on the boat race in which the speaker is involved. The speaker then answered questions from the audience.
Date of Original:
10 Sep 1931
Subject(s):
Language of Item:
English
Copyright Statement:
The speeches are free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.
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Fairmont Royal York Hotel

100 Front Street West, Floor H

Toronto, ON, M5J 1E3

Full Text
A COMPLIMENTARY LUNCHEON
To MR. KAYE DON, FAMOUS BRITISH SPORTSMAN.
10th September, 1931

In acknowledging the high tributes paid him by the President of the Club, Mr. Kaye Don said: I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the cordial welcome you have extended to me. I can assure you it gave me the greatest possible pleasure to accept the kind invitation from the citizens of Toronto, and also from the officials of the Canadian National Exhibition. As you know, it was Lord Wakefield's intention to come here with Miss England II and try to break my existing record of 110.223 miles an hour. Unfortunately, however, we had a little accident on Monday and realized that this would not be possible. Furthermore, I have just been told that if the boat had been commissioned I should not have been able to get my record recognized officially, as you have no Association for that purpose. I would" therefore, strongly recommend that you form an association so that if another boat should make a record in your waters, that record can be officially recognized.

I cannot express the pleasure it gives me to be with you today. I feel I am among my own people, (applause), and I want you to realize how much your welcome has touched me. I owe a lot to Canadians. During the War I was attached to the Flying Corps and I always felt easy when I had a Canadian observer sitting at my back. I came in contact with many Canadians and was with them at the famous Vimy Ridge; the majority of the fellows we used were Canadians, and I never felt so safe, as I said, as when I had a Canadian in my back seat.

There is very little I can tell you that you do not already know. On Sunday we won a pretty good race. It was enjoyable and we had lots of fun. The boat did very well. We averaged ninety-one miles an hour, which I believe was a record for those waters, and furthermore, I now have both the world's speed records. About Monday there is nothing to tell you. We skidded badly when rounding the corner, got into a bit of a wash, turned over and down we went. We came up again and that is why I am here (laughter and applause). I can assure you Miss England fully lived up to our expectations and you will have an opportunity of seeing the boat at the Exhibition.

I would like to pay a tribute to Mr. Fred Cooper, who designed and built the ship. He did a good job, and if it had not been for this magnificent piece of construction, the boat might have been much more seriously damaged. The engines are undamaged, for which we are all truly thankful. I think the speed that we averaged in Sunday's race paid high tribute to his engineering. I think we know something about building engines in the. Old Country and the gentleman I was racing against when I won the world's record said that if he had British engines he could beat my speed. No doubt he is right. (Laughter). If Lord Wakefield consents, I hope to come back again next year and I hope to find a boat waiting in the Detroit River. (Applause). I thank you very much for the cordial reception you have given me. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: I am wondering whether we cannot inspire Mr. Don to answer a few questions. Would any of you gentlemen like to ask him a question or two? Personally I would like to ask Mr. Don, accepting his silence as consent, what, in his opinion, has been the most thrilling event in his life.

MR. KAYE DON: Mr. President and Gentlemen, I seriously think that I ought to have had notice of this question (laughter). One or two experiences that I have had have been somewhat thrilling (laughter) but what I will relate will be restricted to racing. (Laughter.) I took part in a track race held a few miles outside Belfast. There were lots of cars travelling round this course. They were all in a hurry and there was a gentleman waiting with a cup for the winner. Halfway through the race it began to rain, making the track somewhat sloppy. My little car skidded; it was a narrow road and the skid threw my mechanic out, but I was stuck underneath the car which burst into flames. Thanks to my able mechanic and a burly Irish policeman, I was extricated with only a few broken ribs and a badly damaged shoulder. That was one of the most exciting experiences I have had, apart from the one when I went fishing on Monday. With regard to this experience, I had two sensations while we were in the water. The first one was, how was I to get out of the boat, and the second was-and there must have been a lapse of only a second whether I was clear of the boat or not. When we came to the top I realized that everything was as it should be. (Laughter.) I think, Gentlemen, these are the most exciting adventures I have had recently. (Applause.)

A GENTLEMAN AT THE BACK OF THE HALL: Would Mr. Don tell us something about the history of Miss England?

Mx. KAYE DON: I am sure, Gentlemen, you are tired of seeing me bobbing up and down, but for your benefit I may say that Miss England was built in 1930 at the instigation of Sir Henry Seagrave. It was he who conceived the idea of building the boat to race Gar Wood for the Harmsworth Cup but you know what happened to him. He had the boat with him in South America a month previous to his death and thought it would be a good idea to bring it to America. He consulted Lord Wakefield, who agreed to give the adventure his support. The boat was duly built and fitted with question (laughter). One or two experiences that I have had have been somewhat thrilling (laughter) but what I will relate will be restricted to racing. (Laughter.) I took part in a track race held a few miles outside Belfast. There were lots of cars travelling round this course. They were all in a hurry and there was a gentleman waiting with a cup for the winner. Halfway through the race it began to rain, making the track somewhat sloppy. My little car skidded; it was a narrow road and the skid threw my mechanic out, but I was stuck underneath the car which burst into flames. Thanks to my able mechanic and a burly Irish policeman, I was extricated with only a few broken ribs and a badly damaged shoulder. That was one of the most exciting experiences I have had, apart from the one when I went fishing on Monday. With regard to this experience, I had two sensations while we were in the water. The first one was, how was I to get out of the boat, and the second was

and there must have been a lapse of only a second--whether I was clear of the boat or not. When we came to the top I realized that everything was as it should be. (Laughter.) I think, Gentlemen, these are the most exciting adventures I have had recently. (Applause.)

A GENTLEMAN AT THE BACK OF THE HALL: Would Mr. Don tell us something about the history of Miss England?

MR. KAYE DON: I am sure, Gentlemen, you are tired of seeing me bobbing up and down, but for your benefit I may say that Miss England was built in 1930 at the instigation of Sir Henry Seagrave. It was he who conceived the idea of building the boat to race Gar Wood for the Harmsworth Cup but you know what happened to him. He had the boat with him in South America a month previous to his death and thought it would be a good idea to bring it to America. He consulted Lard Wakefield, who agreed to give the adventure his support. The boat was duly built and fitted with Rolls Royce engines and thoroughly tested, but as you all know, there was a bad accident and his Lordship decided that the boat should not be raced again. Representations, however, were sent to him from the British Empire experts who were anxious that the boat should go on exhibition. It was thought that it would be a good idea to try for the world's speed record. We had a few controversies, but in the end were successful in attaining a speed of 103 miles an hour. We were not satisfied, however, because Gar Wood had established a record of 102 miles. After some months of hard work we managed to do 110 miles an hour and you know what has happened since. So that is the history of Miss England II.

A MEMBER : From your experience, Mr. Don, would you care to give us an opinion as to how fast a motor boat will go in the future?

MR. KAYE Dory: I feel that if I answer that question, I would be treading on dangerous ground. All I can say is that in the near future motor boats, motor cars, and aeroplanes will all go faster. Miss England has done 110 miles an hour and someone tomorrow will do 111 miles. I think that in the near future a motor boat will travel at a speed exceeding 140 miles an hour. A motor car in the near future may be able to travel at 300 miles an hour, and aeroplanes at 400 miles an hour. I do not think there is any limit to speed. What a man can do today, another man will surpass tomorrow. There is no reason why we cannot attain a speed of 160 miles in the near future. If we progress in the next twenty-five years as we have done in the last twenty-five, we will get motor boats doing a thousand miles an hour. (Laughter and cheers.)

A MEMBER: Would Mr. Don give us a few technical details regarding the construction of Miss England II?

MR. KAYE DON: The boat is equipped with two Rolls Royce engines which can develop two thousand horsepower each. We have a shaft, a further shaft through that to the propellor, and the propellor has four times the engine speed. The maximum number of engine revolutions is three thousand, but the maximum number of propellor revolutions is 12,000 per minute. The pitching diameter of the boat is fourteen by fourteen, and this we find most satisfactory. The engines are the same that were used in the Schneider Cup which we were successful in winning. (Applause).

The Honorable G. Howard Ferguson then moved a vote of thanks to Mr. Kaye Don.

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A Complimentary Luncheon


Some of the speaker's personal experiences with Canada and Canadians, especially during the war at Vimy Ridge. Some words on the boat race in which the speaker is involved. The speaker then answered questions from the audience.