Lionel - Time's appropriate to pass the baton on to others

Click on images for full size photosL-Goodacre-1-250

Hi Rona

I mentioned a little while ago when you telephoned that I would get back to you. Finally I have made the time to do so.I  wished to let you know that I have decided to retire from being a Civil Marriage celebrant.

On 7th April 1995 I conducted my first ceremony at the Rose Gardens of Old Parliament House Canberra for the daughter of a very good friend. It was a bitterly cold evening with a biting wind and because of it, the bride on her arrival quietly asked if I would manage an abridged version.

So I learnt the importance of flexibility as a celebrant from the very beginning.

My 984th and last ceremony was for my niece on the banks of the Goulburn River at the Tahbilk Winery near Nagambie Victoria on 30th November last year.

I thought this was a special way to both begin and end my professional career as a celebrant. I have always enjoyed working with people and especially as a celebrant – even with people who have been somewhat difficult!!!

But there comes a time when it is appropriate to pass the baton on to others especially when I always find it difficult to disappoint and refuse to take a booking for a ceremony.

Over the years I have been an active celebrant I have experienced many changes mostly for the better. Personal computing tools I found have greatly assisted in building inventories of readings, vows and every other part of a marriage ceremony which enabled me as a celebrant to craft personalised ceremonies and provide suggestions and advice to couples from all backgrounds.

Computing has also enabled the production of professional printing of certificates, NOIMS etc which is so much quicker, accurate and speedier than by hand. (My calligraphy teacher however was truly disappointed when I advised her I had given up the calligraphy pen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Professional support has also seen great strides forward from the periodic meetings and annual conferences which seemed the norm in the 90’s to the Professional Association websites like the TCNA which you have been so instrumental in developing, growing and maintaining. It is an essential resource for all celebrants I believe and so easy to access regardless of whether you live in an urban or an isolated regional location.

One of my few disappointments remains the quality, relevance and effectiveness of our ongoing professional development requirements. I also suspect from some of the requests for assistance and clarification posted on our TCN website that the initial training courses need to be more rigorous, practical and effective.

As I have mentioned in one or more of my (few) posts, the minimum legal requirements of a wedding as provided for in the Marriage Act are in my opinion not all that complicated. Yet some celebrants seem confused or uncertain as to what and when these essentials must be completed.Finally my career as a celebrant has given me a wealth of stories, events and unexpected happenings which never fail to entertain others.So Rona I will not be performing another marriage ceremony.

appreciation-certificate-click-hereNonetheless I still read the TCN Daily Digest – I think it is part of my “winding down” and separation process from something I loved doing.

Thank you for all your assistance and support.


Lionel Goodacre
Civil Marriage Celebrant 1995 - 2014



Last modified on Wednesday, 10 September 2014 13:42