Alcoholics Anonymous History In Your Area
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Glenview Group at 55
“While it has changed rooms…the same southeast stairs have been used for 55 years.”
Shortly after the North Toronto Group was started, members felt a need for a formal discussion meeting. They found a church basement nearby and the Glenview Discussion Meeting was born in 1946. This was a closed discussion meeting to which an alcoholic had to be sponsored. In those days, only the open meetings were published.
Many a long-timer remembers their early days at the Glenview Discussion Meeting.
The meeting has always been an open topic discussion, based on the meetings described in the Big Book. Indeed, the preamble to the meeting is taken directly from the Big Book.
The meeting has always gathered in Glenview Presbyterian Church. While it has changed rooms occasionally, the same southeast stairs have been used for 55 years.
First-time visitors to Glenview are surprised to find tablecloths and the tradition of coffee being served to members. Fine china was used in the early days. These days the group has downgraded to mugs, but still serves the coffee – caf and de-caf – tea, and herbal tea. Being served is heartening to the down and out alcoholic.
Somewhere along the line, the meeting became a group – probably around the time Intergroup was born. The group/meeting has never had a historian, so while various stories have been passed along, many things have been lost in time – including the actual start-up date. Betty D. remembers that it was started in 1946 – ten years before she came to AA.
Historically, Glenview has few members but has a large roster of regular attendees who gladly participate in the service needed to put on the meeting. It seems to be the tradition that someone takes on the job of opening up for long periods of time. Earl set the meeting up for 15 years – even at times when attendance was small, indeed. “Some nights,” he told us recently, “I’d drive in from Brampton or somewhere, open and make the coffee, then sit and read my Big Book until it was time to pour the coffee out and go home.” Others have taken on the job for five or more years at a stretch. Currently, Gregg H., Welcome Group, has opened up the meeting for three years. “It’s an important part of my sobriety,” says Gregg.
“Glenview was an important part of my getting sober in the sixties,” says Dan McK., Half Century of AA Group. He remembers coming for the sandwiches at first. Today, cookies are served.
On Monday, September 17, the Glenview Discussion Group is celebrating 55 years of continuous service to the still suffering alcoholic. In keeping with 55 years of tradition, the meeting will be an open topic discussion meeting with a suggested topic of gratitude. Members and regular attendees are planning a big spread, hoping that all those who found sobriety at Glenview over the years will attend.
Glenview Discussion Group, 8:00 pm, Glenview Presbyterian Church, 1 Glenview Avenue, corner of Yonge and Glengrove, two lights south of Lawrence. Come and join the fun!
Copyright © Sept 2001, Better Times, GTA Intergroup, Toronto, Canada