Remembering Two Pioneers

June 3rd, 2013

Carole Mountain

Every one of us owes a debt of gratitude to Carole, one of the main architects of the network as it exists today.  Most of us will be aware of Out of the Ordinary, that remarkable collection of real-life examples of unusual or unusually difficult namings, weddings, memorials and funerals. It even has a section on Coming of Age – surely an under-exploited category of ceremony. Carole also produced Secular Civic Ceremonies and Songs for Secular Ceremonies.   

Carole was a friendly, warm & engaging Chair of the old BHA Ceremonies Sub-committee, remembered by her colleagues as being a ray of sunshine, with great spirit, joie de vivre and sense of fun.  She was involved in training and active as a Celebrant in Devon, before moving to Australia in 2004.

It was said that she seldom went to a conference without a bottle of gin and would play hostess to colleagues in the evenings to relax and socialise.  Carole served as a JP, which provided an ideal outlet for her common sense and sense of doing the right thing. 

Alan Marshall

Alan played a major role in the development of the British Humanist Association from the early 1990s, setting up the management structure for celebrants and developing the formal training programme nationwide.

He was a founding member of the Watford Humanist Group and a pioneer of non-religious funerals in the region, taking over 500 funerals during his time as a celebrant.

Alan was also Watford’s first Humanist Chaplain. Paying tribute to him, Dorothy Thornhill MBE, Elected Mayor of Watford, said: “He attended my multi-faith meetings and listened and added wise words and views. Dr Marshall was a man of principle and tolerance and lived by example. I will miss seeing his face and having the benefit of his time.”