Alcoholics Anonymous History In Your Area
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Breakaway Group Celebrates 30 Years
At thirty years old, you could say the Bayview Group is a long-timer in AA circles.
Started on March 26, 1970, the Bayview Group was a breakaway meeting started by three Willowdale members: Al B., Jeff S. (now Pine Hills Group) and Julian (now Sheppard Group).
It was the strength and courage of these three founders that has helped Bayview grow and develop its traditional AA values, said current member, Chris B.
“It was the first AA meeting I ever went to and the only group I’ve ever joined,” Chris says.
“All these years I’ve never changed groups because it’s the best group in Toronto,” Chris adds with a small chuckle.
Chris, who joined three months after Bayview started, remembers Bayview’s humble beginnings with only 10 or 12 people in the basement kitchen of a church.
Today, Bayview has blossomed with over 90 people on its member’s list; many of them highly active within AA service.
Traditionally, that’s the way Al B. would have liked it – members active in service work.
“Al was quite the AA man,” Chris recalls. Always looking to get a person active in service work Al originally introduced the two-speaker system to Bayview.
“Al wanted to give the people that were younger in sobriety a chance to participate, to get active,” explains Chris.
Though Chris remembers being shy he too was pressured to stand up in the front of the room and share his experience, strength, and hope. “Al would sort of shame you into doing it.”
Regardless of the tactics or location changes, the group that was founded on AA dedication and a commitment to service work will be celebrating 30 years of continual service on Sunday, March 26, 2000 at 8:30 pm.
Copyright © March 2000, Better Times, GTA Intergroup, Toronto, Canada