The founders of the Winter Park Group liked to think of themselves as being strict conformists to the traditions. Emphasis was placed on 1000 North Orange being a “meeting” place, not a “club.” Being fully self-supporting was a matter of pride to this group. They strongly resisted any infusion of related facilities or outside enterprises. Family members (non-AA) were allowed the “privilege” of making coffee for the AA’s, cleaning up the room, and doing whatever work needed to be done, but had leave the premises before the meeting started.
On 6 May 1953, family members rented space next door to the Winter Park Group. They then moved to the All Saints Episcopal Church, and when the room provided them became too crowded, they moved to the First Congregational Church, where they have been meeting since. When the family members left 1000 North Orange, so did a number of AA members.
Together they referred to themselves as the Fairbanks Family Group. As such, GSO did not list the group in the AA Directory. Practically speaking, though, closed AA meetings were attended by alcoholics and those who thought they might have a drinking problem, and Al-Anon meetings were attended by family members.
Now why was the group called Fairbanks, when the All Saints Episcopal Church is located on Lyman Avenue? We don’t know, except that the parking lot to that church is approached from Fairbanks Avenue. The AA and Al-Anon groups still meet at the First Congregational Church, 215 East New England Avenue, off Interlochen, and each is still called the Fairbanks Group.
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