Your group history can be outlined or written in a narrative form on separate sheets of paper. Using the following suggested headings, answer questions that apply. Many groups update the information annually. A good time would be in conjunction with your group anniversary. A completed copy of your group history should be retained by the group for its own use. Copies can also be sent to the district or information service/intergroup archives committees, and your area archivist.
For new groups, some of this information may seem unnecessary to retain, but as the years pass, future members will find the information interesting, useful and a means of “looking to the past to protect the future.”
You will want to note the following on a cover page
- Group Name
- Date History Compiled Group ID #
- Meeting Day/Time Meeting Location Area #
- Current Mailing Address including City, State/Province, Country, Zip/Postal Code
Formation of the group
- When and why did your group start?
- Where did it meet?
- Who started the group? [list first name(s) with last initial(s)]
- What was the composition of members (husbands, wives, adult children, etc.)? Do early members still attend?
- How did the group announce its formation and attract new members?
- How did the group welcome newcomers when it began? Describe.
Meeting format and topics
- Describe how the group’s meeting format has changed over the years; (e.g., topic/discussion, speaker, Step study, Traditions, literature study, beginners, etc.) List topics most frequently discussed then and now.
Group Meeting changes
- List dates of changes in name, location or day and time of the meeting.
Business and group conscience / Inventory meetings
- Did the group have business meetings?
- how often?
- subjects discussed?
- Describe how a group conscience decision was reached; is the same procedure used today?
- Is a periodic group inventory taken and how often Is it the same today?
- Is or was there an Alateen group nearby?
- Did anyone in the group sponsor the Alateen group?
- Have many Alateens transitioned into Al-Anon?
- Did any Al-Anon members start their recovery in Alateen?
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
- Was an AA meeting held at the same time and place?
- How has the group cooperated with AA?
- Do AA members refer families to the Al-Anon group?
Group participation in the service structure
- Describe how the group participates in the service structure in your area. For example, does it:
- have a group representative (GR) who regularly attends district and area assembly meetings and gives a
- support the nearby Al-Anon information service (AIS)/intergroup?
- have an information service representative (ISR)?
- Do members of the group take Twelfth Step calls from local self-help or hotline answering services, professionals or agencies (describe process)?
- B. On a separate piece of paper, list past and present trusted servants and their dates of service for each office. (GRs, Alt. GRs, program chairs, secretaries, treasurers, ISRs, etc.)
- How does the group financially support the:
- information service (intergroup)?
- World Service Office?
Group anniversaries / Special meetings
Describe the group’s anniversary, gratitude meetings or other special meetings. (Holidays, open meetings, etc.)
The Al-Anon group within the community
- Describe the part your group has played in the community.
- What kind of cooperation did your group receive from the media, local community agencies or professionals such as ministers or doctors?
- Which pieces of Al-Anon literature has the group found the most helpful? List favorite and most frequently requested pieces of Al-Anon literature.
- Describe your group’s use of The Forum in meetings.
- Is it used for meeting topics?
- Do you have a group subscription?
- Do you make other copies available?
- Have any members had an article published in The Forum? ( you might want to retain a copy.)