Chapter Six Groups
a bit of history on how it began...
Chapter Six Shepparton AA Motorcycle Group
Chapter Six was started by Gary .W and myself in 2007. The idea was to get together AA members who rode motorcycles so that we could ride together to AA meetings and Anniversaries. We then decided to make Chapter Six a registered AA meeting with our General Service Office Australia, thus the Shepparton Chapter Six AA Motorcycle Group was born.
Chapter Six is not a Motorcycle Club nor a Bikie group, it is a Special Interest AA Motorcycle Group. That operates strictly within the Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous.
It has proved to be an overwhelming success, with 3 groups now operating in Victoria, 1 in W.A. and 2 in Queensland, we have our own Chapter Six Service Office, a Chapter Six web site, a magazine we print called the Two Wheel Times and over 200 AA members who ride motorcycles that have registered with us.
Gary and I had no idea when we started this that it would be such a tremendous success, we would like to thank all those members who have supported us and put in the hard work needed to keep everything operating smoothly, with the current interest being heard from Interstate and local members on starting new groups and bringing in new members, we know it will continue to grow.
Yours in Service Ron.E and Gary.W
Chapter Six Mundijong AA Motorcycle Group
In February of 2007 Ron E attended an AA meeting at Shepparton Victoria. There he met an old mate Gary W who had rode his motorcycle. Ron having been a keen motorcyclist most of his life but hadn’t rode for 10 years suddenly regained that excitement that only bikers know while casting his gaze over his mate’s bike.
Not long after that Ron purchased a motorcycle and started to ride to meetings with Gary and another 2 like-minded AA members. One ride was to Omeo (This was later named The Over the Mountains Ride which has become an annual event) in the Victorian alpine country where they met Frank another AA member who rode a motorcycle. It was on this ride that Ron suggested that we should make enquiries about starting an AA group of motorcycle riders.
They all agreed enthusiastically and Ron got straight into action first contacting World Service New York, who stated there was no problem with having a Special Interest Group meeting that had only AA members who ride motorcycles as its members, providing that any AA member or person who believed they had a problem with alcohol could attend.
The idea evolved very quickly after that. There were seven AA members who wanted to be part of this group. One of them suggested we call it “Chapter Six “after the Into Action chapter in the Big Book. Ron knew that name suited the group and all agreed.
Armed with the knowledge from World Service that a Special Interest Group could be started, he contacted David E of the General Service Board Australia. David thought it a great idea and encouraged the group to go ahead. The General Service Office of AA Australia were then informed of the intentions and with the other members in full agreement the Special Interest AA group called Chapter Six was registered.
In August 2008 the first meeting of the Chapter Six AA motorcycle Group was held in Gary’s shed. It was a huge success with 25 members present.
In 2010 four AA Chapter Six members rode over to Perth for the National AA Convention. While there they met up with Dave T a very keen motorcycle rider who at that time rode with another motorcycle recovery group. In 2012 Dave made the trip to Melbourne for the National AA Convention. Dave met up with the Chapter Six group again and found their hospitality second to none. One of the members even loaned him a bike to ride during his time there, visiting AA meetings both in Melbourne and in the country.
In 2015 Dave contacted several AA members (including the writer) who ride motorcycles to discuss starting a Special Interest Chapter Six AA Group in WA. Then he contacted Ron with our intentions.
The rest is history. We started our meeting in March 2015. We called it the Mundijong AA Chapter Six Motorcycle Group. We are a group of Men and Women Recovering Alcoholics who also share a common interest in riding motorcycles. Held every Friday night at 7pm. It’s a great meeting and has been going strong since it started. Like our counterparts in the eastern states our meeting is open and all Alcoholics or those who believe they have a drinking problem are welcome. In the summer months we have a barbeque at 6pm before the meeting starts. The winter months a Big Book Study.
There are some great photographs that are on display at our meeting. One being Bill. W sitting astride what would now be a vintage Harley with Lois standing beside him. The other is of Ned Kelly with the caption “Stand and deliver.” Which is symbolic of Stand up and be counted to deliver the message of Alcoholics Anonymous to the still suffering Alcoholic.
Last year 4 members (including the writer) rode from WA to Victoria then rode through the mountains to Omeo to join others in fellowship for the Omeo Over the Mountains Ride 10th Anniversary. An event and ride that we all enjoyed tremendously and will never forget.
When I last spoke to Ron he said that as of January 2018 there are 195 AA members who are Chapter Six members Australia wide. Chapter Six has its own Service Office to keep in touch with all these members. There is 1 meeting in WA, 2 in QLD and 3 in Victoria.” We Have a Web site . When we started this, we had no idea of how powerful the combination of the AA program coupled with the interest in Motorcycles would be.” (One common problem, One common interest).
“On our rides where we attend AA meetings, anniversary’s and conventions, whether it be 1 day or 10 days, it is a continual enjoyment of the program, the motorcycles and the fellowship. Chapter Six is a Special Interest Group of Alcoholics Anonymous that works. We provide a service to a particular group of AA members.”
So, if ever you hear very loud approaching thunder outside your meeting don’t worry it’s only the Mundijong Chapter Six AA Motorcycle Group rolling up on our bikes to join you in fellowship.
Mundijong Chapter six AA Motorcycle Group
Chapter Six Bendigo AA Motorcycle Group
Early in 2009 several Bendigo members became aware of an "AA Motorcycle Meeting" occurring in Shepparton. Interested members began attending Shepparton regularly for several years when the idea to create another Chapter Six meeting in Bendigo took hold. The hurdle seemed that the interested members were also committed members of other local Bendigo groups. How to do this? We asked ourselves... As a number of members were from the Bendigo Friday Group a second meeting was to come to fruition as the "Chapter Six Bendigo Meeting" in January 2013. To facilitate this - members remained part of their home group and members of the special interest AA group Chapter Six.
Meetings were held on the 4th Tuesday of each month at the Hilltop Cafe (part of the Salvos complex) in Mundy Street. Providence smiled upon us with access to a much more suitable building within the same grounds. Undercover parking, view of the bikes during the meeting (security being the consideration of course... Nothing as prideful as materialism!!) and much better acoustics made it all that much more suitable for fulfilling our primary purpose in carrying AA's message to the alcoholic.
Four and a half years in June 2017, Chapter Six Bendigo AA Group was formed by committed members. Strong fellowship and attendance have been hallmarks of Chapter Six AA Motorcycle Group meetings - and Bendigo is no different. Travelling regularly to other Chapter Six meetings and participating in rides are all part of the AA way of life.
Yours in service,
The Webmaster #24
history from these groups to come...