Remembering Grainger Weston, Benefactor to TA

Remembering Grainger Weston, Benefactor to TA

Grainger and Dmitry in Jamaica

Grainger and Dmitry in Jamaica

Grainger receives 2011 M&M Award from Dianne Maki

Grainger receives 2011 M&M Award from Dianne Maki

By Lucy Freedman with Felipe Garcia

One of the most generous contributors to USATAA (now NATAA) and ITAA programs over a generation, George Grainger Weston, has passed away in his hundredth year at his ranch outside of San Antonio, Texas. Some of us know him as the founder and owner of Frenchman’s Cove, Jamaica, where we have held our winter Gatherings for about thirty years.

Grainger took the TA 101 course led by Felipe Garcia in 1982 in San Antonio and became a strong supporter of the dissemination of TA in various parts of the world.

In Jamaica, he not only welcomed us to hold Gatherings, he also sponsored a series of trainings for social workers and educators. These programs led to the development of the TA Practitioner program, which was then offered in Canada and the US, and is now a certificate program through the North America TA Association. People who attended the programs that Grainger sponsored are still learning and teaching TA.

Grainger, who had attended Oxford and spoke Russian, initiated trainings in St. Petersburg, Russia, at a time when the Soviet Union outlawed psychotherapy. He supported Russians to attend conferences in the US as well as sending trainers such as Tom and Delphine Frazier, Denton Roberts, Ruth McClendon and Les Kadis, Petruska Clarkson and Sue Fish, and Felipe Garcia. Dmitry Kasyanov wrote upon learning that Grainger had passed, ”As a result, Transactional analysis here is a popular growing branch of humanistic psychology which helps people live in harmony with themselves and the world. Amazing how one man did such a noble thing – in the right time and the right place!”

In recognition of his contributions, Grainger received the famed USATAA M&M Award in 2011, named after Muriel James and Mary Goulding.

From his obituary, we have learned much more about his colorful life, strong environmental values, and community support. Grainger lived in many parts of the US and around the world before establishing his Santa Clara Ranch outside of San Antonio which he grew to 4,000 acres, and has made available for community and youth groups, and now preserved as a natural Texas landscape in perpetuity.

From his wartime years in the Royal Canadian Navy, setting up a biscuit factory in India (where he met and corresponded with Mahatma Gandhi), starting a cookie company in San Antonio, and at one point owning The Jamaican Queen, a cruise ship, while developing Frenchman’s Cove Resort in Jamaica, Grainger lived a full and varied life.

He was an innovative entrepreneur throughout his life with a vision for the future. He adopted sustainable practices on the ranch ahead of his time. Grainger was a generous supporter of youth sports, art, and education, including creation of the Weston Soccer Fields, the Caroline Weston Performing Arts Center at Texas Lutheran University, and scholarships for students in Texas, Jamaica, and elsewhere. Once he was introduced to TA, Grainger provided TA training opportunities for his family and staff.

Grainger was always interested in learning about TA at the conferences and gatherings he attended. He will long be appreciated for his creative support and friendship to our community.

Jean Illsley Clarke Honored with the ITAA Fanita English Lifetime Achievement Award

Jean Illsley Clarke Honored with the ITAA Fanita English Lifetime Achievement Award

Jean Illsley Clarke, TSTA (E) (1925–2021), will receive the 2022 Fanita English Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously. Trudi Newton, in her nomination statement, wrote, “Jean earned this award for her lifetime of commitment to building healthy family and educational systems to support the healthy development of all children. She did this through her books, her teaching, and her personal example in her long life. She ensured a rightful recognition of the value and significance of the educational field in the ITAA.

We are proposing Jean for her lifetime of achievement in so many arenas: theory, writing, innovation, philanthropy, and teaching. I especially want to honor her in the area of enabling others to learn. She transformed the T in TSTA from ‘Teaching’ to a genuinely cocreative process of everyone present learning, including herself.” Janice Dowson added, “From our initial meeting in the late 1970s to our last conversation at the 2019 Raleigh conference, Jean modeled professional commitment and personal creativity. She was a consummate teacher whose curiosity and interest in learning from others counted among her most engaging teaching tools. Jean’s outstanding capacity for personal connection through casual conversations in liminal learning spaces has been a significant, perhaps unrecognized, lifelong contribution to the TA community.

Jean’s career as a writer and parent educator had two parts: one as an accomplished workshop leader and a nationally certified and internationally known parent educator, another as a pioneering transactional analyst who was committed from her first contact with TA to translating its theories, concepts, and philosophy into an educational and parenting context.

In her many books and articles, she always aimed to present ideas as positive guidance, and in this, she inspired others to do the same.” Giles Barrow wrote, “Jean was the founder of the field of educational TA and the great-grandmother from which all other TA educators have come. Some of us worked directly with her, many of us have learned from those who did. Certainly, hundreds, if not thousands, of parents, teachers, and children have been informed by the affirmations, resources, and programs generously given and inspired by Jean. She touched into the practice and philosophy of many of us through her supportive supervision, wise counsel, and wit. Communities of practice grow from the fertile lives of the ancestors, and Jean’s generative capacity was in full flow long before she left us. If we are a more robust network of educational practitioners it has something to do with Jean.”

Jean received the 1995 Eric Berne Memorial Award in the area of practice applications for her work in applied transactional analysis in parent education and the John Gladfelter Life Values Award from the USA Transactional Analysis Association. The nominators for this award included Trudi Newton, Diane Salters, Janice Dowson, Giles Barrow, Susannah Temple, Jan Grant, Rosemary Napper, and Tomoko Abe. Used by permission The Script April 2022.

Inger Acking to Receive the ITAA Robert and Mary Goulding Social Justice Award

Inger Acking to Receive the ITAA Robert and Mary Goulding Social Justice Award

Inger Acking was nominated for the Robert and Mary Goulding Social Justice Award because of her lifelong commitment to social justice and redecision therapy, her voluntary contributions to ITAA and the TA community, and her unconditional, loving support to Mary Goulding and Muriel James during their final years.

Gloria Noriega describes how after moving from Sweden to the US in the early 1970s, Inger trained in redecision therapy with the Gouldings and has worked as a psychotherapist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her commitment to social justice has been central in her life through her personal and professional actions. These include volunteering time and support at ITAA conferences; offering personal support to ITAA staff member Ken Fogleman during his last illness; supporting civil rights activists in California fighting for same-sex marriages; providing financial assistance through a college education fund for two African-American girls who otherwise had minimal resources; regularly visiting and providing support to Muriel James, educating staff at Muriel’s long-term memory care residence so that they more fully appreciated who Muriel was, and facilitating communications with and for Muriel when she was unable to do so on her own; directly caring for and continuing an aspect of Mary Goulding’s legacy, the “Women’s Workshop” at Isla Mujeres (Women’s Island) in Mexico, a female space for women in life transitions, which Inger has continued to facilitate in person and more recently via Zoom; and welcoming Mary into her home when Mary’s circumstances were compromised in her later years and offering respectful, staunch friendship as Mary’s health declined.

Inger’s empathic, respectful support for Mary Goulding, Muriel James, and other elder women in our community exemplifies equalitarian values and awareness of cultural injustices and human rights. Janice Dowson commented on how Inger demonstrates the core principles of the Gouldings’ theory through promotion of social justice, personal responsibility, direct action, and affirming relationships: “Over the past 5 years, Inger has been a stalwart member of the NATAA Inclusion, Equity and Social Action Committee (IESAC), joined the NATAA Council, and now serves as IESAC Chair and NATAA Council representative for IESAC.

Inger is a solid team member who prioritizes realizing team goals through humbly contributing wherever help is needed, often in unrecognized ways. Additionally, Inger was a key member of IESAC when the committee ignited the idea for a free, quality, online TA 101 course, thus promoting principles of equity and inclusion by making foundational TA information accessible worldwide to anyone through Project TA101.

In her professional work, Inger provides affordable counseling to a diverse population in an underserved community. Others who wrote to endorse this award for Inger included Felipe Garcia, Bob Hempel, and additional members of the Isla Group, among them Reiko True, Brenda Bary, Roberta Fischer, Susana Ifland, Karyn Krawford, Melanie McGhee, Ksenija Popadic, and Karen Swander.

Used by permission The Script April 2022.