Testimonial Dinner – On Sunday April 30, 2000 at the Ibis Hotel in Melbourne, Victoria, Dally was the recipient of a Testimonial dinner supported by Celebrants and government to acknowledge his contribution to the celebrant program. Participants sponsored and paid for a month’s trip to the USA to study Rite of Passage with the creator of the successful “The Journey” rite for adolescents, David Oldfield of Washington DC.
From a letter written at the time by Dally Messenger:
Marj and I were picked up in an impeccable Vintage limousine. I thought it was a Rolls Royce but it turned out to be and Armstrong-Siddelley Sapphire 1954 model.
It was a sensational night. I came in, to everyone singing “Climb Every Mountain” led by Jim Boswell and Elizabeth Lawrence. There followed a long list of marvellous speeches and wonderful messages.
Speakers: Ray Dahlitz spoke on behalf of the Humanist Society. Dorothy Shorne read from Lois D’Arcy (Australia’s first celebrant and my close friend) , Kathy Hurley read a message from David Oldfield of the USA (magnificent), Sarah O’Donnell read one from Sitarani Kerin in Canberra (moving), there was a taped message from Moira Rayner in London (heartwarming). There was a wonderful letter from Gareth Evans in Brussels read by Jim Boswell, one from Attorney-General Daryl Williams read by Anna Robieson (encouraging), a truly beautiful speech from Carol Huish and a funny one from Brian McInerney. Anna Robieson, the President, presided but Lyn Knorr took the cake by framing every speech within the story of my life which she read in instalments, as it were before and after the others.
I received a certificate, a mentor book full of tributes, and a trip to the USA to see Oldfield !!!!.