English-Speaking AA in Quebec City

English-Speaking AA in Quebec City


by Peter Stuart

Did you know that Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) came to Quebec City way back in 1950? In fact, it was an English-speaking man of Scottish-English origin by the name of Claude M., who at the time worked as a mechanical shovel operator on the Québec bridge, who brought the message of A.A. to Quebec City to a French-Canadian man by the name of Roger D., who was married to a Canadian woman of English origin by the name of Irene Etheridge.

Irene had answered an advertisement subsequent to an article which had been printed in MacLean’s magazine in May, 1950, which published an article about the fellowship of A.A., and which had encouraged people to seek out more information from the fellowship’s foundation in New York City. She had done so because her husband Roger suffered from alcoholism, and she felt she needed to seek out assistance.

Claude and Roger eventually met on September 9, 1950, and shook hands for the first time, thereby establishing the date for when A.A. arrived in Quebec City.

Slowly but surely, more and more people started to hear about this new fellowship, and these two fellows began to have more men, then women join their ranks.

A couple of newspaper advertisements in local papers helped things along, and pretty soon, the group began having to move from one place to another, seeing that numbers kept on increasing, and a mixture of English and French-speaking people were joining.

Each linguistic group felt that they should have their meetings in their own language, which created some tension over the years. However, the original group founded by Roger and Claude, remained an officially bilingual group until it was wound down just a short time ago due to waning membership. One meeting of this original group, called the Columbus group, still survives to this day, and meets every Monday evening at 8:30 P.M.  in Sillery, and has reverted back to being an English-only group, which accepts a certain level of passive bilingualism, for those who wish to share in French.

If you want to check out the official website of A.A. in the local area, just go to www.aa-quebec.org and find the meeting closest to you in the Greater Quebec City area.

English-speaking A.A. can sometimes be hard to find in Quebec City, but if you know what to look for and where to look, and how to get there, you’ll have a much better chance of connecting with the kind of like-minded people you know you want to be with.

Keep comin’ back, and have a good 24!

Peter S.



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