I find that recovery from the effects of someone else’s alcoholism, as rewarding as it can be, can also be very hard work. That’s why I think it’s important to regularly acknowledge my accomplishments, focus on my gratitude, and celebrate with other members. I’ve often done this by attending group and District anniversaries, Area conventions, and the Al‑Anon International Conventions. Among my favorites, though, are the special events hosted every five years by the World Service Office (WSO) to celebrate the founding of Al-Anon.

I’ve been fortunate to attend all of these Al‑Anon anniversary events, beginning with the great big party for Al-Anon’s 50th Anniversary in 2001. At that celebration, representatives from A.A. received a “Resolution of Gratitude” passed by the World Service Conference. Similar events took place in 2006 for Al-Anon’s 55th Anniversary, in 2011 for its 60th, and in 2016 for its 65th. Each one included inspirational talks by Al‑Anon speakers, thoughtful recognition of our worldwide structures, and fun countdowns where all attendees were given the opportunity to stand up and be counted for their years in recovery.

This year’s 70th Anniversary event, held on July 10, continued the tradition—with one exciting difference. Because it was held virtually, it was more accessible. This trilingual event, with simultaneous translation in French and Spanish, included several video presentations: a flag parade of all the countries where Al‑Anon exists, a virtual tour of the WSO, and a time-in-the-program countdown! For me, the highlights of the day were the two longtime members who fondly shared their memories of our cofounder, Lois W. The event closed with a video presentation reminding us that the next Al‑Anon International Convention will be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in July of 2023. Another opportunity to celebrate!

If you weren’t able to be among the many members who participated, an audio recording of the Al‑Anon speakers will be played periodically in meetings inside the free Al‑Anon Family Groups Mobile App for the remainder of 2021.

Go to the Mobile App page for more information and celebrate with us the joys of recovery.

By Tom C., Associate Director—Literature

The Forum, August 2021