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Grapevine : May 2011
meeting discussions centered around “who could drink the most.” Hardly anybody was staying sober. As Tony put it, “everybody was slipping.” The doors, however, were kept open, and visitors from the U.S. and Canada brought some structure. One visitor brought the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions and by 1965 there were about ten regular members. M eanwhile, Ulric R., a journalist colleague of Tony V.’s, had been writing a book review column for the newspaper in the late 1950s and early ’60s. While searching for new material, he discovered a copy of the Big Book (1st edition) on dis- play at the local public library. He read the first part (the first 164 pag- es) and thought that he could be an alcoholic. However, on reading the personal stories, all very low-bottom, he decided he was not that bad and continued to drink for another few years, until he found AA on August 26, 1965. The message was brought to his home by a former British Air Force pilot, who had been cashiered after flying his plane into a hangar. Ulric went to his first meeting at the St. Matthias Church annex, got sober immediately and stayed sober ever since. Tony V., who had been still drinking when Ulric came to his first meeting, stopped drinking three days later. According to Tony, he was envious that his friend and colleague sobered up immediately on coming to AA and decided to follow suit. The next major development of AA in Barbados occurred late in 1983. On the advice of a visitor from Canada, members decided to create an Intergroup that would be respon- sible for coordinating the activities of AA in Barbados, including the collection of group contributions, distribution of meeting informa- tion, coordinating the telephone service, purchasing literature from the General Service Office in New York, and coordinating other service activities as needed. It was decided that the principal officers should be a chair, responsible for chairing monthly meetings, a treasurer, re- sponsible for collecting and disburs- ing funds and providing regular reports, a general service represen- tative, responsible for liaising with GSO in New York, and a secretary, responsible for maintaining written accounts of meetings, group records and activities. By the end of the ’80s, a regu- lar daytime meeting was established, called the Mustard Seed South group. This is the only group in Barbados that meets six days a week (all other groups meet once per week). Once again, two conflicting versions exist of the development of this group. Early in 1984, some members felt the need for a daytime meeting and aagrapevine.org 47 GRAPE_45-49.indd 47 4/4/11 1:03 PM