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1969-1972

1969 According to minutes of the General Service Area Committee of this year, the Public Information Committee was in existence by now. They met on a quarterly basis with most of the work being carried out by only a few. Jim N. brought back to us the idea of Young People’s Groups (1969 or 1970)

1970 This was a year of many events and firsts. Early in the year the Area Committee began planning for the first time area wide Round-Up. Of all the 90 General Conference Area in North America, Western Mass was the second smallest (only Hawaii was smaller), so even though other areas which many times encompassed a whole state, were holding conventions and round-ups for fellowship and service purposes, it had been felt by many that we did not need such an event to knit us together. BUT even the objectors agreed that we needed a way to present the Conference report to the area at a round-up which could also include local participation in workshops, out of town speakers, fellowship, and refreshments. One of the doubters made a bet with our Delegate, who was pushing for the event, that we wouldn’t even have 25 people there. The first Western Mass Round-Up (a half day event) was held at the Trinity Church in Springfield with 125 Alcoholics in attendance. Dr. Jack N., Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Alcoholics Anonymous, was our keynote speaker. The Round-Up was a great success and has been an annual event since 1970.

Bill W., our co-founder, who was in seriously failing health, attended his last General Service Conference. Western Mass Archives has a picture of Bill leaving the Conference for his last time. This picture taken by our delegate is the only such photo in existence.

Our Western Mass Delegate, Margaret C., was elected to serve as the first female chair of the 90 North American Delegates for the 1971 conference. Dr. Jack N., Chairman of the Board of Trustees, appointed her to represent all of the delegates on an AA Long Range Planning Committee.

The International Convention of AA (held every 5 years since 1950) was held in Miami, Florida on the Fourth of July weekend. Bill Wilson spent most of the weekend in the hospital, but finally was brought onto the stage in a wheelchair with his oxygen tank beside him during the closing Sunday morning spiritual meeting. Most AA’s present knew that he was saying good-bye.” Of importance at this convention was the adoption of AA’s “A Declaration Of Unity.”

The General Service Conference elected the first United States Trustee-at-Large. Unlike regional trustees who are elected by the delegates from the particular region, the United States Trustee-at-Large is elected by all the delegates of the North American General Service Conference.

1971 Bill W. passed away on January 24, 1971.

In April, at the opening of the 21st General Service Conference, our Western Mass Delegate spoke, representing all the North American Delegates, at the memorial service opening the conference. Bill, Dr, Bob and the early AA’s and non-alcoholic trustees had laid a solid foundation, and AA at its 21st General Service Conference had truly come of age.

During the course of this year the Public Information Committee temporarily went defunct as a result of lack of attendance.

1972 The Public Information Committee is back. Newly organized and well attended meetings are taking place with immediate past Delegate Margaret C. serving as the chair. This committee has met ever since on a monthly basis as a service committee of the Area.

Dick D., the primary architect of the Area 31’s service structure, took office to serve as delegate for the 1972 and 1973 term.

Towards the end of the year the Area Committee voted to endorse the nomination of Margaret C. to the post of Trustee-at-Large from the Untied States, to serve on the AA Board of Trustees, for 4 years.

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