In 1973 a small group of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) members thought that a place to meet and socialize would be of benefit to all members of AA and Alanon on the North Shore, and so the North Shore Alano Club came to be.
The first premises were located above what was the Anderson’s Drug Store on the corner of 3rd and Lonsdale Ave. In a very short time, the Club became an unqualified success and membership steadily increased until there was well over 200 on the membership list.
It must also be noted that the club has never denied access to those who could not or would not pay the small membership fee. Those who could not pay were frequently given the opportunity to work off the fee in some manner while an effort was made to convince those who chose not to pay that the Club provided a valuable service and their support was much needed.
The Club then put in a small kitchen, which was staffed by volunteers, and sold coffee and some goodies to the members. The Club also started holding dances on Saturday nights. These were very well attended, so much so that they had more than one visit from the Fire Marshall who had concerns about overcrowding.
As the Club began to make money, it began to offer paid positions such as cooks, cleaners, and janitors to persons coming into the program who needed such help. For a number of people, this was the first step on the road to their recovery. However, the greatest benefit provided by the Club was the social environment provided for all members and the opportunity for those who were just coming into the program to meet others who had been in AA for a while and who would act as “sponsors” for these new people and help them change their lives for the better.
In 1980, it became evident that the Club had outgrown its current premises and a new location must be found. In 1981, the Club moved to its present location at 2nd St. And St. Georges Ave. These new premises provided a large communal area, a separate dance/meeting hall, and several small rooms that could be used for meetings or rentals. A full kitchen was installed and meals were available at very affordable prices. A very successful morning breakfast followed, and even more paying jobs were created.
From the beginning, the Club has either promoted or provided a variety of events and functions for its members. Some of these include:
Dinners: Easter, Christmas, New Years etc...
Special Dances: Halloween, Masquerades, New Years, Club anniversary, and more
Other Events: Bingo, Children’s Parties, Bake & Rummage sales, River Rafting, Weekend Camp-outs, attending AA roundups, and supporting other AA meetings
The Club has also generously supported the AA Central Office, as well as the North Shore Roundup over the years with both money and volunteers.
In the last decade or so, the Club has welcomed the organizations of NA(Narcotics Anonymous) and CA(Cocaine Anonymous) into the Club and many of their members have also become contributing members of the Club.
Over the last 41 years, literally thousands of men and women have used the Club as a support system in battling with and in many cases, overcoming these terrible addictions.