The Bath Group was registered as a group with GSO in May 1948. After there were several starts and failures the Bath Group finally got going in January 1949. Bill S. and Clint W. were the only two members in the beginning. In October they included Brunswick and called it the Bath-Brunswick Group. The membership increased to an average of about 12 members. The group was helped a lot by George K. from Westbrook. Some of the other members were Cy L., Bill B., Harmon E., Charlotte M., Bob D., George C., Charles F., and Bob L. None of these members are alive today.
The “Cornflakes” directory for 1949 listed the Bath group as meeting on Sundays at 115 Centre Street (Lawyer D’s office) at 2:00 pm. Other records show that they met on Sunday evenings. They held mostly discussion type meetings with a speaker now and then. Every fourth Sunday was “Family Night” and speakers were invited in. When the group outgrew Lawyer D’s office on Centre Street they moved to Winter Street Church and met on Sunday nights. Before there was Al-Anon in Bath the women used to make coffee and bake cakes and pies at the Winter Street Church for the meeting. At some point the meeting moved from Sunday to Friday nights. The Bath Group moved briefly to the Chocolate Church when the United Church of Christ was being built on Congress Avenue. The church was built in 1972 as a result of the merger of two Congregational churches in Bath, Central Church (now the Chocolate Church Arts Center and Winter Street Church).
Other groups sponsored by the Bath Group were: The Brunswick Group, Newcastle-Damariscotta Group. Boothbay Harbor Group and Wiscasset Steps of Sobriety.
The Bath Group was originally in District 1. At a Bath Group meeting, Carlton M., Area Delegate, told Cy L. that it was improper to serve food. At that time the Bath Group used to make and cut up Italian sandwiches for the meeting. Cy L. was disturbed by this comment and it was at that point the Bath Group elected to move to District 5. The minutes from the District 5 meeting February 5, 1978 indicate that the Bath Group belonged to that District. The minutes include a list of group contacts and elected servants. The Bath Group is on the list with Cy L. as the Bath Group contact. Currently the Bath group is a member of District 6, which was formed in 1978.
For the next 32 years the group met at the United Church of Christ on Congress Avenue in Bath. The Bath Group was a speaker meeting on Friday night from 8-9pm. In 1991 a Big Book meeting was started on Tuesday night. George B. first opened this meeting and the books were purchased by the Bath Group. After a years’ time this meeting became part of the Bath Group and the Big Book Group moved to Five Islands. There was also a Beginner’s Meeting from 6:30-7:30 pm. This meeting incorporated around 1996-1998. Ted S. got the idea from a Portland Group.
In October 2015 the Bath group relocated to its current location at the United Methodist Church, 340 Oak Grove Avenue, Bath. The Group elected to hold one meeting, that being the Speaker’s Meeting from 7-8 pm. Beginning February 2016 the Group elected to have a potluck the third Friday of each month beginning at 5:30 followed by Speaker’s Meeting at 7.
The Steps, Traditions and Concepts window shades used for the meeting have memorial plaques in remembrance of group members, Bart (Traditions) and Cy L. (Steps) and Ted S. (Concepts) When Bart died people didn’t know what to do and they ended up sending a lot of money to the Bath Group. The group bought several cards tables and the Steps and Traditions window shades as well as the plaques located at the bottom of the shades.
The last Friday of the month the Bath Group celebrates anniversaries. Currently there are 30+ members in the group that celebrate their anniversaries throughout the year. The Bath group holds its business meeting the 1st Friday of each month at 8:20 pm. The group is very service-orientated and this is a good reason for someone to join the group as service is a very necessary part of sobriety. As Ted S. often expressed, roughly 5% of the people that come through the doors of AA stay sober and coincidentally 5% of the membership is involved with service work.