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Story: Westside>Northwest>Plymouth-Ilene Group #0003

Westside>Northwest>Plymouth-Ilene Group #0003

Early St Paul Church

The North-West Group of Alcoholics Anonymous of the City of Detroit was formed in 1941. It was the outgrowth of a separation. The original single group, then numbering approximately forty members and meeting at 4242 Cass Avenue The members decided to divide into three units as a matter of convenience. Accordingly, the Central Group, meeting at 4242 Cass Avenue, East Group meeting at the Mack Avenue Business Men’s Club, the Westside Group, meeting at a barber shop on Hamilton and Puritan Ave, came into existence.

Puritan & Hamilton Barber Shop

In the early days the group’s name changed from the Westside group to the Northwest Group and finally to the Plymouth-Ilene Group. The first meeting of the Westside Group was held on the night of October 16th, 1941 and located at a barber shop at Puritan near Hamilton. They were there about a month before they moved to Richard’s Card Shop at 10216 Plymouth Road. They stayed for a couple of months.

In June, 1943, a group of members proposed the idea of a separate discussion meeting to more advantageously present the Twelve Steps of the Recovery Program to the new affiliates. A decision was made to hold a closed meeting for alcoholics only for this purpose. Since that Thursday night there has been a meeting every Thursday night of this group in the same hall regardless of weather, time or season of the year (1948). The first discussion meeting of the North-West Group was held at 10216 Plymouth Road on Monday night, June 14th, 1943, and has been held every Monday night without exception thereafter. Mon. – Instructional meeting, Thur. – Closed meeting, Fri.-Open meeting.

A plan of presentation of the Twelve Steps of the Recovery Program was developed prior to this meeting in 1942, but greatly promoted by this group in 1943.

A group information sheet dated September 29, 1943 lists the group with 68 members, one of which was in the armed forces.  They met on Plymouth Road on Thursdays at 8:30 pm.  Helen King was the contact person for the group.

Northwest’s Big Book

Around the Christmas of 1943, the group purchased a Fifth printing of the first edition of our beloved Big Book. This Book was autographed by all the earliest members of Alcoholics Anonymous.

As of January 11, 1944, the group had 87 members.  They continued to meet on Thursday at 8:30 pm.

An updated form for the group was received August 14, 1944. 14 members met on Wednesdays at 8:30 pm.

Since its inception, the North-West Group has grown until, March, 1948; the following are some of the other groups formed either in total or in part, by separation from the parent North-West Group.

North Young Men’s Lincoln Park
Oakman Plymouth-Ilene Dearborn
Down River Hubbell North-East
Grand River University Farmington Warren-Southfield

April 1948

In 1961 the church at 10216 Plymouth Rd build a new building next door at 10226 Plymouth Rd, then in 1962-63 the group moved to 13650 Ilene St, the Church’s Club Hall.

In 1968 the group had an 8:30 pm Monday closed meeting, Thursday 8:30 pm open meeting, and moved to St. Paul’s Church at 14025 Hubbell Street at Grand River, Detroit. By 1971 the Thursday meeting was discontinued.

STATUS: Disbanded, 1974.

FootNotes:

  • References: GSO Archives; National Directories; Local directories.
  • © 2013 by Bill T, Archivist, General Service of Southeastern Michigan, Area 33
  • For further information:area33archivist@aa-semi.org