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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
40 Years for Mount Royal
guest at Harbourlight, Paul H. was mandated to attend AA
meetings. Tuesdays and Thursdays he went to the nearby Mount
Royal Group. Joan B., a long-time member of the group who
died in January, explained the "do" things and
told him, "do as you're told." So he did, and
joined the group.
19 months sober, Paul is secretary of the group and a useful
citizen a social worker in the downtown core , working
with people just like he use to be.
Mount Royal Group was founded in July, 1960, and will celebrate
40 years of service to the community on July 18. According
to long-time AA member, Dan McK., who attended the group's
first meeting, "at a church at Avenue Road and Bloor,"
one of the founders was Dave C., a Montreal businessman,
who, says Jeff S., co-founder of the new Leslie Group and
former Mount Royal member, "named it Mount Royal after
Montreal." Jeff was a member of the group until 1988
and still has sponsees in the group.
Royal soon moved to the Metropolitan United Church when
the Rev. Dr. Little, who was a great friend of AA, was pastor.
He was also part of the original AA meetings in the Little
Denmark Restaurant back in the 1940's and he welcomed another
AA group meeting in his church. The York Group meets there
on Thursday nights.
Royal has never kept an archive an unconfirmed legend
says its founding date was the 20th but the group's
tablecloth just says the month and year. Rod I., a 25-year
member of the group, remembers this date being celebrated
when he first came in as the youngest member at age 28.
noted, "A lot of people start here and then move on
to other groups." He stressed how delighted the current
group members would be to see graduates of the Mount Royal
Group at the 40th anniversary celebrations.
some point, a discussion meeting was started on Thursday
nights. No one today knows when. The site of this meeting
has changed over the years, currently at St. Michael's Parish
Hall, 66 Bond Street, across from the Cathedral. Like the
open meeting, it starts at 6:00 pm.
of its location and early start time, the meeting attracts
a wide variety of people: business people who work downtown,
visitors both business and tourists staying
in downtown hotels, people in treatment, and dedicated souls
who got sober at the Mount Royal Group and have since moved
away from the downtown core. The group usually has eight
or nine formal members, but 30 to 40 people attend the Tuesday
night meeting. A fair number are from treatment and are
mandated to come. However, as Rod says, "It wears off
on them," and they stay.
group has a lot of one-year medallions and fewer longer-term
ones as many newer AAs move away from the downtown core
as they become established in sobriety.
celebrate 40 years of dedicated group service, attend the
Mount Royal Group, Metropolitan United Church Hall, 50 Queen
St. E., at the corner of Bond (it's the building in the
back of the church), on July 18, at 6:00 pm.
© July 2000, Better Times, GTA Intergroup, Toronto,