R.I.P. Jane Scragg

Feb 10, 2017   //   General Updates

Sadly there is one less wonderful person out there teaching Tai Chi and Qigong. Jane was much more than just an ordinary instructor of exercise she exuded the essence of the Tao, a natural and simple way of doing things. Jane passed this on to all she met whether she was teaching the movements or not.

Jane Scragg, 74, of Taringa, (Brisbane) Queensland passed away peacefully in her sleep at 8am on January 31, 2017. She was born in Africa, the second child of Jean and George Cole who also had two sons, Jeremy and Charles.

For most of her childhood, Jane lived in Kenya. But at the age of 24, she left her homeland on a remarkable voyage headed for New Zealand with her parents, younger brother and 92-year-old grandmother on a home-built trimaran in response to political changes in Kenya. Her father, an experienced hydrographic surveyor with the British Navy, opted to take the shortest route and sail against the trade winds on a journey which would last a whole year. They reached New Zealand safely but after a couple of years living in Nelson, the cold (despite being summer) was enough to make the family head to the warmer shores of Australia.

Jane met her husband Edwin in Perth, and later moved to Sydney and Adelaide before finally settling in Brisbane in 1983. Edwin was a great filmmaker and Jane assisted in their business ‘Scope Production’ and with Edwin’s role as Queensland and National president of the Australian Cinematographers Society. Edwin died in March 1997 in the garden of their Brisbane home, he was electrocuted while pruning a high tree branch.

After surviving breast cancer in 1992, Jane started a long association with the Australian Academy of Tai Chi when she started attending classes while recovering from cancer. In March 1995 Jane began Tai Chi instructor training and assisted in classes, in 2000 she was invited to become the Resident Instructor and run the Indooroopilly branch of the Academy and went on to be a highly-regarded instructor.

She also taught Tai Chi & Qigong in Brisbane parks in the Western Suburbs over the past 11 years mainly as part of the Brisbane City Council’s Active and Healthy Programs. During these classes, Jane would often encourage the participants to hear the song of birds in the trees and feel the breeze in an effort to encourage people to be more in tune with nature and to leave their stresses behind. She also conducted sessions at Wesley Hospital for the ‘Choices’ Cancer group over many years, being able to empathise with the participants after being through the same experience herself. Jane was always expanding her Tai Chi knowledge, by attending monthly Instructor Training, participating in every Annual Seminar and never missed the annual Tai Chi weekend retreats on Stradbroke Island and Alexandra Headlands. Jane also went on two Academy China Tours in 2006 and 2014.

Jane had boundless enthusiasm for Tai Chi, concern for the environment, money-raising efforts for the McIntyre Centre (Riding for the Disabled) and was actively involved with local bushcare groups. Her willingness to share the highs and lows of her friends, endeared her to everyone. Jane was also an active member of an unofficial weed clearing “Climb the Mountain” group, walking up Mt Coot-tha every week followed by a well-earned coffee and chat with friends at the summit. She also had a very close association spanning more than 20 years with the Old Friary in Kenmore Hills. Jane has left very deep footprints in the hearts of all who knew her and enriched their lives.

Jane will be remembered; for her care and concern for the environment and for treading lightly on this planet; for her contributions to the community and work with bush care; for her passion for the production of healthy food; for her love of her neighbours and anyone she met; for her generosity to others; for her enjoyment of cycling (no hands preferred); for her keeping the old van going well beyond a normal use by date; for her generous distribution of ‘Who Gives a Crap’ toilet paper; for her inspiration and ability to live in the moment; for her strength in adversity, especially through her illness; for her faith, hope and love.

Jane is survived by her much-loved daughters Emma and Sarah, their respective partners Gilbert and James and grandchildren Dusty Rose (4) and Benjie (2). She also leaves her older brother Jeremy and his wife Aileen, and her younger brother Charles and Liz.

A celebration of her life was held at the Old Friary at 139 Brookfield Road, Kenmore on Saturday February 4 with around 300 people attending. The day started with an informal Tai Chi session followed by a memorial. Followed by morning tea and a music concert, many people stayed on to enjoy the surroundings of the Friary.

Quoting Jane:~

Notice how you treat the natural world upon which you depend.
Tread lightly, you’ll feel better, closer, more in touch.
Treat everything as precious. You’ll need less.

Be present treasure each moment.


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