Alcoholics Anonymous History In Your Area
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Friendly Group Marks 50
On October 8, 1951, the first meeting of the Friendly Group was held in the United Church at the corner of King St. W. and DunnAve. On October 15, the group is celebrating 50 years of continuous service in the west end of Toronto.
Pat P., Sunnyside Group, first came to AA in 1951 and remembers going to those first meetings of the Friendly Group in her early sobriety. Nellie A., a founder of the group, “was an AA mother who lugged me to meetings,” says Pat. She vividly remembers other founders – Phil B., Mal R., Red R. – all gone now.
The original church had a fire and the group moved to the fire hall at Cowan and Queen Sts., then back to the rebuilt church, then to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital cafeteria, then on to its current location at St. Vincent de Paul R.C. Church on Roncesvalles. There was a six-month period, when the current church was renovating, that the group moved to a school on Bloor St.W., but no one is sure of the exact dates of all these moves.
Agnes G. has belonged to the group all 28 years of her sobriety. “I never thought of another group. I love it,” she says.
When she called AA, Stephanie G. was told to go to the Friendly Group. She arrived on her own. Norma, a long-time member, volunteered to be her sponsor and took her to meetings.
Told to stick with one group, “where he felt right at home,” Terry H. loves the Friendly Group. He has been a member since January 2, 1977 – his dry date.
George M. had some trouble staying sober in the beginning but he says he has always been a member of this group. “I’m comfortable with the people here,” he adds. “There’s a very warm hospitality.”
“Everyone is so genuine,” notes Elinor K., another group member.
This warm and friendly group puts on quite a spread for a medallion, so imagine what they will be serving for their 50th anniversary!
Join them October 15, 8:30 pm, at St.Vincent de Paul Church, 263 Roncesvalles Ave. at High Park Blvd.
Copyright © October 2001, Better Times, GTA Intergroup, Toronto, Canada