News of the death of Jane Pelosi on 18th April caused great sadness within Girlguiding Glasgow. Jane was a brilliant and gifted musician; not only did she lead and inspire the County Choir over some 30 years, producing an Annual Carol Concert which heralded the Christmas season with laughter and enjoyment, but she was renowned throughout the UK and beyond for her ability to promote singing as an enjoyable art form across the generations. A superb pianist and composer, but above all an enthusiast for Guiding and all it could mean for the lives of girls and young women, Jane was seldom too serious, and always fun. Originally a Renfrewshire Guide and adult leader, in the late seventies Jane was invited to join Glasgow’s County Team as Press and Public Relations Adviser, partly due to a family background in the printing trade, and was responsible among other things for the production of the Annual Report. In the eighties she was appointed as International Adviser for Scotland, and later she became the first County Commissioner of East Renfrewshire, where her legend lives on.
A physiotherapist by profession, Jane and her late husband Tony raised twins Jane and John, and she was proud of her five grandchildren. Her own family home, Todhill, Newton Mearns, became hers after the death of her parents, and she followed their lead in being generous with her hospitality, not least hosting the local Trefoil Guild Meetings in the Games Room there. Memories are precious, and those associated with Jane are especially so – music, laughter, camp, travel abroad, international friendship, strong principles, loyalty and respect. Austria, significant within her professional training, became her second home, and that too was shared with others; the County Choir even went on tour there!
It was particularly poignant that Bill Russell, latterly Jane’s accompanist on the piano, not only for Glasgow’s County Choir (which eventually included leaders from surrounding Counties and members of the Netherurd Singing Circle) but also for Jane’s Glasgow Old People’s Welfare Choir and the East Kilbride Senior Citizens’ Choir, died suddenly within days of Jane’s own passing, which followed a three month period of debilitating hospitalisation.
“All things shall perish from under the sky
Music alone shall live……. never shall die”
[Himmel og Jord – Denmark]
Our Chalet Song Book II
Although many contributed at the time of Jane’s Funeral, donations in memory of Jane and in thanks for her life can be made to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts or Glasgow Old People’s Welfare Association.