For the Record
To ALL previous and present C.A. Group, District, Area, WSOB, WSBT, and Conference Secretaries:
A BIG THANK YOU of appreciation to all of our C.A. secretaries, who are the guardians of our history, our legacy, and our future. Without your tireless working efforts, C.A. would not have a written history.
In February of 1983, the secretaries of the first six C.A. meetings got together and formed what eventually became the first General Services Organization of Cocaine Anonymous.
Thanks to the World Service Conference Secretaries, we, the Archive Committee, have a complete, searchable, password protected online database of all World Conference minutes from the first WS Conference in 1986 to the last WS Conference in 2019 (https://docs.ca.org/). Furthermore, we have an almost complete record of all WSBT and WSOB minutes from inception to present day. This archive will allow the various C.A. World Service Committees to use the database for research and development. For example, the LCF Committee could use the database to search out WSBT correspondences on handling issues with our Traditions for the upcoming book—C.A.’s 12 & 12.
Thanks to the WSOB, WSBT and Conference secretaries, the Archive Committee can now provide the fellowship with a verifiable chronological timeline of our most significant milestones (https://museum.ca.org/c-a-historical-chronology/).
Minutes are an integral part of due process and transparency, and are recognized by Robert’s Rules of Order, which says that the secretary of an organization has to (1) keep minutes and (2) make them available to members that ask for them.
Minutes are important because they are the only surviving record of what was said and done at the meeting. Meeting minutes serve the purpose of recording board or committee actions and decisions. They are a critical component of board and committee meetings and, in some cases, there are legal and practical reasons for them.
The minutes are the official written record of the C.A. Group, District, Area, and C.A. World Services meeting events and may include a list of attendees, a statement of the issues considered by the participants, and related responses or decisions for the issues.
Without meeting minutes, it is as if the meeting never took place. Without meeting minutes, there is no record of what was said, by whom or what decisions were made—decisions or actions taken by the respective Boards or Committees which cannot be questioned by any C.A. Member who wishes to do so. Without meeting minutes, there may be no way for a Board or Committee to defend itself should they be required to do so.
For the record, qualifications for the CONFERENCE COMMITTEE SECRETARY position includes: two (2) years continuous sobriety, the ability to type, possess good organizational skills and be committed to the position for a length of term of one (1) year. Furthermore, the Conference Committee Secretary is responsible to:
- Record minutes of all meetings.
- Distribute minutes of previous meetings, and manages correspondence to the committee.
- Maintain a list of committee members’ phone numbers, mailing addresses, and email addresses.
- Assist the Chairperson with notification of committee members regarding upcoming committee meetings.
- Submit committee motions in writing to the WSC Chair.
- Maintain committee archives.
- Compile a master Delegate Mailing List from the conference, sorted by name, region, and committee.
- Maintain the seating chart at the conference.
If you are asked or nominated to be a C.A. Secretary, at any level of service, please consider the vital importance of maintaining a written record of Cocaine Anonymous’ good works. Moreover, you will serve a crucial role in preserving our legacy and ensuring the posterity of Cocaine Anonymous.
Cameron F. (Toronto, ON) & CAWS Archive Chair