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70 years of beating alcoholism

The only requirement for membership of the AA is the desire to stop drinking.

The Springs chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) celebrated its 70th anniversary at the Selcourt Methodist Church hall last Saturday.

The hall was packed with AA and Al-Anon members and friends of the AA.

Several guest speakers shared their recovery stories and gratitude for the support they received from other group members during their rehabilitation.

Among the panel of speakers were men who have been sober for five, for 20 and for 34 years.

To mark the occasion, two cakes were baked, one for the 70th anniversary and one for 20 years’ sobriety.

AA is a fellowship of men and women who share their experiences, strengths and hopes in order to solve their problems and help others recover from alcoholism.

The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop drinking.

There are no fees for membership as the AA is a self-supporting group.

“AA Springs is the oldest group in South Africa, which was established in 1947 with a tradition to protect its members’ anonymity,” says Koos* from the Springs AA group.

According to their records, the group started when their first member received a copy of the book Alcoholics Anonymous from someone he had turned to in desperation for help with his drinking problem.

The book apparently provided the answers to the man’s drinking problem.

He was determined to repeat what the founders of the AA had started 12 years prior to 1947, by spreading the message to alcoholics and staying sober himself.

Springs AA group meetings are held at the Selcourt Methodist Church in Granada Street, Selcourt on Mondays (members only) and Thursdays (open to all) at 7.30pm.

*Surname withheld in line with the organisation’s principle of anonymity.

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