Archives is interested in hearing from A.A. members who are willing to share their experience, strength, and hope during the COVID-19 pandemic if you would like to share, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Archives Work in Alcoholics Anonymous
Historical records in all forms help members of Alcoholics Anonymous, as well as the general public, to understand not only the day-to-day experiences of recovery, but also to reach back for the shared experiences of the past. As facts are separated from myths, Alcoholics Anonymous ensures that the original message of recovery, unity and service remains the same in a changing, growing, expanding Fellowship that constantly renews itself.
Since the opening of the G.S.O. archives in 1975, the archivists and the trustees serving on the Archives Committee of the General Service Board have encouraged archival service work, which the committee believes is vital to the survival of the Fellowship. Today almost all areas have set up archival collections, and there is a significant growth in archives work at the district level. … adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous History and Archives website.
Williamsburg Area Archives
Since May 1996, the Archives Committee has compiled group histories for inclusion in the book, Virginia’s Path, on the history of A.A. in Virginia; recorded the oral histories of A.A. members; and collected documents and artifacts related to the history and activities of District 38, Williamsburg Area Intergroup and A.A. groups and members in the greater Williamsburg area.
This tradition of archives service work continues today as the current Archives Committee collects materials, compiles group histories and records oral histories.
The committee has also begun an exciting project to digitize and electronically store documents, photographs and oral histories. The committee welcomes donations from groups and individuals as well as volunteers to work on a variety of projects and tasks.
For more information please contact the District Archivist at email@example.com
Did You Know?
AA101, We Are Not Saints, came into being due to the old hospital closing. The hospital group was looking for a new location. Through connections of one of the group members, the current meeting space became available. The hospital group opted for another venue and a couple group members decided to start a new group aimed at newcomers (college students). They were given a number and became an official meeting. The meeting was small at first, sometimes less than a dozen. The meeting grew to as many as 30. Like all groups, AA101 seeks greater participation.
Thursday women's group was the first women's group in our district. The women in this group are very active in service. They help temporarily sponsor women from our local rehab facility. The group held their first meeting This month on the 27th in 1992.
The Happier Hour Group was founded in April of 1994. They saw the hour of 5:30 pm as a slippery time for alcoholics. The Group did move for a short time in 2001, due to a church renovation, but returned in 2003.
The Prayer and Meditation Group was started as a meeting that opened its doors on May 1, 1996. The meeting was only on Wednesday at 7:00 am at Bruton Parish Church. They also helped out another group called Barnum and Bailey’s Circus AA Group, sharing their 7th Tradition basket with the group. The group has grown to five days a week pre-Covid and currently is running seven days a week on telephone call in.
The Basic Text Group started on June 18, 2007 at the Williamsburg Presbyterian Church. This was one of the few groups to offer babysitting. The format was open discussion following a short reading from the Big Book. The group conducted a group inventory to become more effective in carrying the message to the newcomer. The group participated in District, Intergroup and Treatment and Corrections service.
In April of 1992, Two alcoholics started a five day a week, midday, open meeting in a small room over the Williamsburg Theatre in Merchant's Square. That building is now the Kimball Theatre. The group eventually moved to the Williamsburg United Methodist Church on Jamestown Road due to space issues. In the summer of 1993, the group was officially registered.
The Room to Grow group was started in August of 2003. It was noted that there was not a young people's meeting in Williamsburg, so this group began as a young persons meeting. Young people in AA is defined as people with Room to Grow. This led to the chosen group name and "Delusion Smashers" was a close second. The time and day for the meeting originally was chosen by finding the longest gap between meetings on the schedule and putting it in the middle. This group recently changed time and format to open discussion at 5:30p.m on Saturdays.
In 1995, shortly after District 38 was formed, the Any Lengths Group split from the Original Williamsburg Group, taking the Thursday speaker meeting and Friday open discussion groups. The Friday group is one of the few in existence that combines AA and Alanon, with members from both fellowships being welcome to attend.
The Midnight Madness Meeting was founded to give late night hotel and restaurant workers a place to meet. In 1994 on the night of the first meeting, the original eight members signed a Big Book. Years after the group stopped meeting, a lady from the local AA community found the Big Book at a thrift store.
The pastor’s wife from Mt. Gilead Church in the Grove approached local AA members about the possibility of having an AA meeting at the church. Three members of the local AA community met with the pastor’s wife and discussed their experience with the program.
A few weeks later, one of the members got a call giving the green light for the meeting to start. On December 23, 1994 the first meeting was held. The meeting did not have an official name until its first anniversary.
After eight years, the group informed the church that due to the increase in attendance and the limited space at the church, the group would be relocating. The group moved to a house being Grace Baptist Church in 2002. At an unknown date, the group moved into the church building.
The Early Bird Meeting has a unique and spiritual tradition called “The Bag” because there was no storage facility at the restaurant in the beginning, a canvas bag was utilized by the chairperson to keep all needed meeting supplies. They chaired for a month and then the bag was left to be claimed by the next chairperson. The group believed that someone needing to do service work would be compelled to take the bag. Often times, a sponsor would recommend that their sponsee pick up the bag. The meeting does not follow a strict format, but it does always include a reading from the daily reflection and some group discussion. At Christmas time, when the meeting was being held on Duke of Gloucester Street, meeting attendees were able to make a meeting in the morning and walk out to the starting of the annual Williamsburg Christmas Parade.
The Primary Purpose group held its first meeting on February 1. 1980 in the cafeteria of the Williamsburg Community Hospital (Mount Vernon Avenue at the current site of the William and Mary School of Education). This speaker meeting was started to provide an alternative to the Original Williamsburg Group, which at the time was the only Saturday night meeting. In 1986, a member of the Primary Purpose Group started a Sunday night open discussion group at the same location. In 1988, the two meetings merged.