First Things First

Group #0002

 

East (Manistique) Group

The archive’s has many small notes and information on this group, much of it appeared to be inaccurate and confusing. We had to dissect the many notes and become forensic detectives.

St Columbia Episcopal Church
By late 1940, Archie T. had moved out of skid row and was renting a room from a young Grosse Pointe couple and Mike E. and his wife who were living at St. Jean and Jefferson Ave were looking for a home near the Cadieux Road and Warren Ave area. Alcoholics Anonymous was growing in Detroit and most of the twelve step calls being made by these two men were basically on the east side of Detroit.

After much discussion they decided to open a second group and because of the logistics decided to call it the East Group (go figure). This group began on February 2, 1941 above a furniture store on the corner of Mack Ave and Cadillac Ave which was a Men’s Club which Mike was a member and played euchre weekly.

First Meeting Location

In the next few months the group began to face a few issues, 1) the attendance began to swell immediately and 2) probably of more concern was that women alcoholics were very hesitant to go into a private Men’s Club to attend an alcoholic recovery program.

Jim B. and Wife
By October, 1941 the group made the decision to move to St. Columbia Episcopal Church, 1021 Manistique, Detroit. At this time the members decided to break up into two groups. Some would continue being the East Group and the others would start a new group called the Grosse Pointe (Memorial) Group. This group would hold meetings at the Memorial Church in Grosse Pointe.

Group Secretaries:

            1941-46         Jim B.             Open on Tuesday at 8:30pm                     59 members

            1947-48         Robert J.                                                                   

            1948-49         Clarence T.   Added closed Fri at 8:30pm                       78 members

            1949-50         James N.                                                                          100 members

 

There was an anniversary celebration held on June 20th, 1975 for the Group’s 30th anniversary which was really their 39th anniversary. Charlie Q who chaired the anniversary was an early member who came into AA in 1945. Charlie sponsored Bill M (from the Glenwood Group) who was the M.C. for. the Anniversary.

"30th" Anniversary Flier

In attendance were 315 people including:

Mike E.           3rd person sober in Detroit, 1st Delegate to N.Y.

Wilf W.           Was an early member from Windsor Canada.

Olive D.          Moved to California in 1945 came back for the celebration.

Jim H.             Founded the Tuesday Morning Group and South Macomb Group. Married to Mable who was one of the founders of Al-anon in Michigan.

Andy Q.          Delegate, Panel 25 1975-76

1st-3 In Recovery In Detroit
Jim H. took photograph of the first three members who came into AA in Detroit. This photo was taken in 1945 at the ten year celebration of the “fellowship/organization” of AA; it was distributed at the 1975 celebration as a souvenir.

STATUS: Disbanded, 1993..

Map of Locations

Copyrighted Bill T., Archivist, Area 33, Southeast Michigan
G.S.O. Archives; Area 33 Archives; AA of Greater Detroit; Bill M.; Greg D.; Andy C., Past Archivist
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