Jan Sinclair (right) and her husband James, with daughter Stephanie.
Jan Sinclair (right) and her husband James, with daughter Stephanie.

Tributes to a special lady

MORE than 700 people gathered recently in Monto to farewell a much-loved former Monto Shire Councillor, strong community figure and friend.

Janice Kay Sinclair (Jan) was born in Brisbane on May 6, 1950, to Ron and Dulcie McDougall, joining older brothers Noel and Peter and sister Carole.

She met the love of her life, James Sinclair, in July 1972 at the Chinchilla Polocrosse carnival.

They were married in September 1973 and the young couple made “Craiglea”, west of Monto, their home.

Among the challenges Mrs Sinclair faced were the tragic loss of her two sons in October 1975 and the next, December 1976 respectively.

It was with great joy daughter Stephanie was welcomed into the Sinclair family in October 1981.

In 1991, Mrs Sinclair was elected as councillor to the Monto Shire Council. During her term, she chaired the committee formed to build the Monto Historical and Cultural Complex.

She died suddenly at home on January 2, and a memorial service was held at the Monto Town Hall on Monday, January 9.

Hundreds of friends and family members heard moving tributes to a woman who believed in a strong community, the vital input of youth into the cattle industry and the importance of family.

Mrs Sinclair’s friend, Margaret Cruickshank, spoke of a woman who faced trying times and health issues, but who gave openly to those who needed it most, and would be remembered for the love and acceptance she gave readily.

“Jan was the most accepting, giving and forgiving person... she sought advice from those who she considered the wisest around and then applied it in her life,” Ms Cruickshank said.

Nephew Mark Nelms said his aunt was a true friend to many.

“Jan’s love of her farms and home, livestock and pets, culture and arts, her local community and the elderly, her joy of travelling, shows a picture of a woman who loved and lived life,” he said.

Many community groups were represented at the memorial, including the Monto Choir, with whom Mrs Sinclair regularly sang, and fellow councillors, members of the Monto Cattle Club, the local Driver Reviver volunteers and the residents of the Ridgehaven Retirement complex.

Her beloved Rawbelle district tennis group formed a guard of honour with racquets in hand at the end of the service.

Mrs Sinclair’s husband James, her daughter Stephanie, and mother Dulcie McDougall acknowledged the enormous outpouring of support at their loss.

“We have taken great comfort from seeing and hearing from the very many people whose lives were touched by Jan,” Mr Sinclair said.

Mrs Sinclair wanted to be remembered by this quote: “Let my name be remembered not by gold or silver, but the love and laughter that we shared.”

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