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A selection of anonymity-checked archives documents can be accessed by following this link.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1rdY87E55-NGzLHwxYMstHEtrKcd75vEi?usp=sharing

Additional archival documents may be available from Area 06 (CNCA). Please use their contact form to send a message to their archivist. In the meantime, if you're interested in finding out how PRAASA started, read on.

 

Origin of PRAASA

The idea for  a Pacific Region service assembly seems to have originated around 1968 with Stan W, Conference Delegate for the California Northern Coastal Area (CNCA) at the time. Stan suggested to the three other California Delegates holding a state-wide conference of some sort but no action was taken.

PRAASA history cover

When Pat S became CNCA Delegate in 1967 she began talking up the idea of a state conference at the annual General Service Conference in New York and got some interest from Ken K, California Northern Interior Area (CNIA) Delegate as well as Paul R, Arizona Delegate, and Les E, Delegate for Nevada.

After the GSC, Pat looked up Stan W, who by then had served as secretary for the Northern California Council of A.A. and had experience putting on special events. Pat asked Stan if he would be willing to act as general chairman for a three-state service conference to include California, Nevada, and Arizona. At this point, Edward D, the Oregon state Delegate, wrote to ask whether his state could be included, too.

Stan accepted the role enthusiastically but suggested that all Areas in the Pacific Region be included. He contacted the Delegates in the Region, including Alaska and Hawaii, and all expressed interest in participating, except Idaho, which he had inadvertently omitted. He made the determination that Fresno, CA, would be the best location geographically and began plans to hold the first assembly, which he called the “Western General Service Assembly”, over January 26-28, 1968.

Stan contacted the Fresno Convention Bureau and tentatively reserved the Convention Center. CNCA and CNIA agreed to co-host the Assembly and CNCA put up $500 as an advance on expenses, which was later repaid. Stan sent a questionnaire to the Delegates soliciting suggestions for the program and he invited Eric B, newly elected Pacific Regional Trustee, to be the Friday night speaker.

The first Western General Service Assembly was held as scheduled with some 300 paid registrants. The actual count at the Saturday night meeting was about 500, which caused some concerned discussion about some people not helping to support the expense. In Stan’s final report, he suggested that the Assembly be held annually.

Original PRAASA flyer
First Western General Service Assembly Flyer

 

The following year, 1969, the second Western General Service Assembly was held in Reno, Nevada with a paid registration of 336, although actual attendance was lower due to a blizzard that shut down the airport and all roads into Reno. It was voted to make the event annual and afterwards the name was changed to the Pacific Regional Service Assembly. 

 

Al-Anons were first included in 1970. The first Guidelines were drafted in 1971 in Santa Maria, CA and adopted at the 1972 Assembly in Pasco, WA. Interesting factoid: Coffee consumption at the 1971 Assembly was 130 gallons at a cost of $136 for a registered attendance of 252.

 

Source: “PRAASA—Its History”; for more information, contact the CNIA Archives.

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