The fellowship recovered from the trauma of Mac’s absconding. Now, with the intent of accepting full responsibility for the function of the Intergroup Office, several AA spark plugs teamed together, determined to organize the Intergroup Office in consonance with AA’s Traditions and Guidelines from the General Service Office.
John Van, a writer, newsman, editor, and recent arrival from New York, took on the task of writing the constitution and by-laws. John wrote to several intergroup offices located in cities with large populations. He selected the best points of these constitutions and by-laws and incorporated them into one for Central Florida. At the September 30, 1973, delegates’ meeting, the finished document was unanimously accepted by the governing body. John was elected Chairman of the newly organized Intergroup Steering Committee. One of our members, a lawyer, guided our group in having Central Florida Intergroup incorporated.
Mary C, who with her husband Pete came with the initial cadre of Disney people from California, remembered her first call to AA. The phone was hanging on the wall at the AIco-An Club, and anyone could answer. When Mary received a gruff “What do you want?”, she realized that the Intergroup Office would have to be separated from the club environment. An office was located one block away at 205 E. Jackson Street. It was readily accessible and cheap — $104 a month. The telephone, 423-4587, was answered only by volunteers, each a half day a week. After hours calls were received by an answering service and forwarded to AA volunteers. Cost for this service was $29.50 a month. Mary was elected to the position of Treasurer. Two signatures were now required on each check. The “Mac attack” had taught us a good lesson.
Then the newly elected Co-Chairperson went back out to renew his drinking career, to do a little experimenting, Hal D was appointed to fill his term. Before his retirement, Hal was in advertising in the Baltimore area and prior to that had been a musician, playing the banjo in many of the Big Bands of the ‘30s and ‘40s. Hal was the husband of Elise, our Intergrouper editor, and at that time one of the oldest members of AA in our area.
Other officers of the Steering Committee were Jane G., Secretary, who was a professional golfer; and Members-at-Large C. K. B., the 6’2” one-legged West Virginian; Robbie R., formerly an Army Warrant Officer, an engineer for vessels for the Army Transportation Corps; and Joe C., retired from the Air Force, where he served with early warning and intercept units.
The Steering Committee members had diverse backgrounds. Coming from widespread parts of the United States, they each provided their own unique flavor of AA. The community worked like Trojans to make ours an outstanding Intergroup that was representative of each group and every member. There were 15 active groups at that time. A meaningful 12th-step list was developed by individuals who visited and solicited each group for help. It seemed like everyone pitched in, knowing we could not leave twelfth-step work to another Mac.
The Treasurer’s report for the period August 16 – September 16, 1973 shows expenses for the month $329.25. Office activities show 82 calls for help. Adding meeting information, office visits, requests for medical help, and Al-Anon and other calls, 317 contacts were made that month. From then on we lived in close harmony and happily forever after — well, not quite!
P.S. Several of our members discretely replenished, to a degree, money absconded by Mac, enabling the Intergroup Office to function until the AA community was again able to provide. True to our Twelfth Tradition, they to this day choose to remain anonymous.
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