History of Al-Anon Family Groups

1951 - Apr. at the close of the 1st General Service Conference, Lois W, with her close friend and neighbor, Anne B, invited the delegates’ wives and local family group members to Stepping Stones to discuss an organization for what was then called AA Family Groups. (LR 174-176, WPR 69-70)

1952 - Jan. 9, the first AFG Hq (the Clearing-house Committee) was set up at the 24th St. clubhouse in NYC. (LR 174-176). In Mar., non-alcoholic groups, previously using names such as AA Helpmates, AA Auxiliary, Triple A, Non-AA, AA Associates, etc. established the name of Al-Anon Family Groups for their Fellowship. (LR 176, CB 142) AFG sent a memorandum to AA asking permission to use its Twelve Steps. AA agreed unofficially but its members felt strongly that AFG should be a separate society and not a subsidiary of AA. (LR 176)

1953 - Sep., Al-Anon Family Groups adopted an adaptation of the Twelve Traditions of AA. (LR 177-178)

1955 - Jul. 1-3, 20th anniversary and second Int’l Convention at St. Lois, MO. The first AFG book The Al-Anon Family Groups was released at the Convention. (AACOA ix, 32-34, LR 180)

1960 - Jul. 1-3, 25th anniversary and 3rd Int’l Convention at Long Beach, CA. AFG members present at the Convention voted to approve a plan, similar to AA, for an annual conference of delegates. AFG groups later affirmed the action. (LR 181)

1969 - Apr., the 19th General Service Conference (GSC) recommended that: (a) the GSC approve the recommendations to incorporate into existing AA Guidelines the questions on how AA and Al-Anon can cooperate with regard to central offices and area and regional get-togethers and conventions and (b) the GSC approved a resolution of gratitude to AFG.

1986 - Sep. 12-16, the first permanent International Al-Anon General Services Meeting. (AFG pamphlet AR-2)

1988 - Oct. 5, Lois Burnham Wilson (age 97) co-founder of Al-Anon Family Groups, died. (AACOA xi) Her contributions to the AA and AFG Fellowships entitle her to be considered co-founder of both. Michael Alexander, past Chairman of the General Service Board is cited “many AAs today feel their lives are owed to Lois as well as Bill, Dr. Bob and Anne S.” (WPR 53)

SOURCE REFERENCES:

AACOA AA Comes of Age, AAWS

BW-RT Bill W by Robert Thompson

GB Getting Better Inside Alcoholics Anonymous by Nan Robertson

GTBT Grateful to Have Been There by Nell Wing

LR Lois Remembers, by Lois Wilson

WPR Women Pioneers in 12 Step Recovery, by Charlotte Hunter, Billye Jones and Joan Ziegler

From: Art B

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