When plans for finalizing the General Service Conference were made in late 1950, Bill asked half of the areas in the U.S. and Canada to elect a Conference Delegate for Panel One which was to meet in New York City in April 1951. Members of the NC & NCAA decided that the Council was the proper forum from which to elect our Delegate, so they planned their 1951 Conference to include the election of a Panel One Delegate from the Western half of Northern California. [Because of Northern California’s large population, it was decided to have two Northern California (Panels) Areas, one for the West and one for the East.] Since Bill had announced that he would visit the West Coast in early 1951 to attend the elections in Los Angeles and in San Francisco, the Council requested that he be the keynote speaker on this occasion. Bill accepted and plans were laid for the 1951 NC & NCAA Conference to be held at California Hall in San Francisco. Because of the importance and urgency of this particular business, it was necessary to have the Conference as soon as possible, so the Conference was held on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 20 and 21, 1951. This was the first Northern California Council Conference that was not held on a weekend. It was publicized in the first issue of the Good News in January 1951, and hundreds of AA members dropped their business affairs and traveled many miles in order to participate. The members of the committee who planned the Spring 1951 Conference were:
Alameda – Chairman ————————————————————————————-Ed A.
Chairman of the San Francisco Central Committee ———————————————– Bob R.
San Francisco and Marin Counties —————————————————————— Fred C.
San Mateo ————————————————————————————————- Ed N.
Berkeley ————————————————————————————————– Nic N.
Santa Cruz ———————————————————————————————– Jack F,
Secretary of the Council ——————————————————————————- Kay P.
Tentative plans for this Fourth Annual NC & NCAA Conference included four afternoon speakers who would discuss the four phases of the AA Program: Admission, Inventory, Spiritual, and Carrying the Message. The speakers were to be followed by the election of representatives to the Council by the different districts and then with closing remarks by Bill W.
The Conference actually took place in three parts: (1) the Conference itself was held Tuesday in California Hall where a record number of 300 AA’s attended; (2) an address by Bill, (attended by approximately 2,900 AA’s, relatives, and friends) on AA History — Its Third Legacy, was held at the War Memorial Opera House Tuesday evening; and (3) the very first meeting of Panel One of the General Service Conference was held in California Hall Wednesday morning. Fifty-two of the ninety-six AA groups in the Western half of Northern California were represented; and more than a hundred other AA’s were present as observers, many from Panel Two [the Eastern half of Northern California] which would meet the following year.
At the Wednesday Assembly, Bill spoke in detail of the plans for and the need for a General Service Conference. Nic N., of Berkeley, a pioneer in the San Francisco Group and founder of the first AA groups in the East Bay, was elected the Panel One Delegate. The first General Service Conference was held in New York City on April 20, 21, and 22, 1951.