Grainger and Dmitry in Jamaica
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.