This is the Program for the First Southern California Conference of AA held in Long Beach, CA on November 22nd and 23rd, 1952.
The front cover of the program was signed “Flossie Lewis” and is believed to be her personal copy of the program.
Flossie was a non-alcoholic and wife of AA member Clarence Lewis. She was however very involved and vital to the growth of AA in the Long Beach, CA area. Flossie and Clarence were the first “Special Workers” at the Harbor Area Central Service Office, which was in their home! Flossie helped to create the “Intergroup Exchange Bulletin” with Art Brooks is 1957.
Below you can read excerpts about Flossie Lewis found in “A Brief History of The Harbor Area Central Office of Alcoholics Anonymous” that is accessible in its entirety on the Harbor Area Central Office website:
“On November 10, 1943, Bill Wilson and his wife Lois met with a group of over 400 sober men and women here in Long Beach who came to hear about the program of Alcoholics Anonymous and how the program works.
Rumor has it that this was when Lois W. and Flossie Lewis first discussed having a fellowship for those who were related to the alcoholics. Two names were tried; “Autonomous Auxiliary” and “Non-Alcoholics Anonymous”. It would not be until 1951 that the organization was officially established and the name “Al-Anon” was finally decided upon.
Clarence J. Lewis and his wife Flossie (who was first exposed to A.A. January 1, 1945 at the Ebell Club) were asked and they accepted, and became the original “Special Workers” (from 1948 to 1955). The Harbor Area Central Service Office was started in the Lewis’ home on May 14, 1948. The mailing address was P.O. Box 751, Long Beach, California.
Bert Kersey, Jack Jones and Jack C. were chosen to see about a telephone, which was installed in the Lewis’ home (the Central Office) at 1128 Dawson Avenue, Long Beach. The telephone number was 305-150. Flossie took most of the calls and did the majority of the running of the office in the beginning. Advertisements were placed in the local newspaper, the Press Telegram.
In 1951 the first Southern California A.A. Conference in the Harbor Area was held in Long Beach. Walter M., from Los Angeles was the A.A. speaker and three members of the Harbor Area Non-Alcoholic Group (later to become Al-Anon) speakers: Val M., Jean J., and Flossie L. This conference was the idea of Jean J. The intent was to introduce Alcoholics Anonymous to the local community.
In 1952 approximately 52 Groups in the Harbor Area were using the services of their Central Office. The groups in the Harbor Area came to the following addresses for their literature as the Central Office moved about (basically because the Lewis family changed addresses).
Also in 1952, the second Public Meeting was held at the Alano club at 429 W. Anaheim (Long Beach), Eddie A., from Los Angeles and Tom J., from Signal Hill were the A.A. speakers and there were seven Alanon speakers. Clarence and Flossie Lewis’ daughter, Beverly, closed the meeting by singing a version of “The Lords Prayer”.
The First Southern California Convention 1952 marked the first Southern California Alcoholics Anonymous Convention. It was called a “Conference of A.A.” and it was held at the old Long Beach Municipal Auditorium at the foot of American Avenue (now called Long Beach Boulevard) and Clyde Davis (Deceased) of Los Angeles was the chairman. There were “satellite” Alanon meetings at the LaFayette Hotel on Broadway and Linden in Long Beach and the conference concluded on Sunday November 23.