To fully understand how APNC got to be where we are today, it helps to see where we started.¬† A special thanks goes to Betty P. Lane for pulling together this historical account of APNC’s beginnings.

In order to do justice in reporting the history of Alcoholism programs and Alcoholism Professionals of North Carolina, we have to go back twenty years to the beginning when North Carolina got involved and began to take a look at education, prevention and treatment programs for the citizens of this state.

On June 10, 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous was founded by Mr. Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith in Akron, Ohio. It was this same year that the General Assembly of North Carolina voted to establish an Alcohol Beverage Control system that would let cities and counties have the option to vote for the sale of alcoholic beverages in their communities.

Through the efforts of citizens that were recovering from the illness of alcoholism and other interested people in Raleigh and across the state, the General Assembly of North Carolina in 1948 voted to build an Alcoholic Rehabilitation Center at Butner, NC. The State Alcoholic Rehabilitation Program was also established in Raleigh; the late Kinion Proctor was appointed director and the late Dr. Norbert Kelly was appointed associate director.

In June of 1952, the first School of Alcohol Studies was held at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, known as the “Summer School on Facts About Alcoholism”. Participating in this program were the late Raymond J. McCarthy, a youth educator specialist from Yale University, Dr. Richard Proctor, M.D., Graylin Hospital of Winston-Salem, Dr. Thomas T. Jones, retired, of Durham, and the late Dr. Norbert Kelly, alcohol specialist in Raleigh.

In 1957, the General Assembly passed a bill which allowed all ABC Boards to spend up to 5% of their profits for education and/or rehabilitation. After this bill was passed, alcohol information centers began to form in a number of cities throughout North Carolina. As these information centers began to communicate with each other, along with the Alcohol Programs in Raleigh and the Alcoholic Rehabilitation Center at Butner, they began to see a need for a combined effort to promote the needs for the citizens of this State in education and rehabilitation.

In late 1956, the City of Greensboro established the first Alcohol Information Center. This was followed by Durham, in 1957, and then Charlotte and Winston-Salem. In 1958, the Durham Council on Alcoholism became an affiliate of the National Council on Alcoholism, and in 1959, Charlotte became an affiliate. These two councils are the oldest on-going affiliates with the National Council to date.

After several meetings of interested parties, a committee was formed, and Dr. Norbert Kelly was authorized as the convener to help formalize an organization of alcoholism programs. This committee met on December 18, 1959 and the committee members were as follows: Rev. Ed Laffman, Rev. Joseph Kellermann, Worth Williams and Dr. Kelly.  This committee concluded its deliberation by making the following recommendations:

  1. That an organization of alcoholism programs be formed.
  2. That the organization should be kept on a strictly informal basis.
  3. That the organization should stress communication between the various programs and that the means of communication should include a regular newsletter and periodic meetings. January, April and August were suggested as the most suitable times for meetings.
  4. That Dr. Kelly be appointed convener of the sessions.
  5. That the name of the organization be called Alcoholism Programs of North Carolina.
  6. That membership in the organization be limited to personnel in State and other government or public programs, concerned with the problems of alcoholism.
  7. That the next meeting be called for Monday, January 11, 1960, at 1:00 p.m., at the Presbyterian of the Covenant Church, Greensboro. (Due to snow this date was later revised for February 11, 1960 at the same location.)
  8. That Dr. Kelly be authorized to canvas the membership for suggestive topics which should come under discussion at the Greensboro meeting.

Programs attending this committee session were Asheville-William J. McCord, Charlotte-Jody Kellermann, Durham-Mrs. OIga Davis, Greensboro-Worth Williams, Goldsboro-Thomas Griffin, Henderson-Rev. Edward Laffman, Newton-Rev. R. P. Sieving, ReidsvilIe-Mrs. Anne Wall, Southern Pines-Rev. Martin Caldwell, Winston-Salem-Mrs. Virginia O’Connell, Burner-Dr. Donald McDonald, Raleigh-Dr. Kelly, George H. Adams, Mrs. Roberta E. Lytle, Mrs. Jackie McCarthey, North Carolina Prison Department-David Godfrey.

The Organizational meeting was held in Greensboro on February 22, 1960 and the group voted to organize and be known as the Alcoholism Programs of North Carolina. A committee was formed to write a proposed set of by-laws and Dr. Norbert Kelly was selected to be the convener until such time when officers could be elected. The next meeting was scheduled for May 5, 1960 at the office of the Greensboro Alcohol Information Center.

At this meeting, Mrs. Marty Mann, Executive Director of the National Council on Alcoholism, spoke briefly about the National Council, then introduced Mr. James McCormick, Public Information Director of the National Council. He explained plans to observe the week of November 28 through December 2 as National Alcoholism Information Week. The next was scheduled for September 21, L960, at Winston-Salem in the office of the Alcoholism Programs of Forsyth County. Up until this time, APNC was a very loosely knit organization with no constitution or by-laws.

There were ten programs represented at the September 21, 1960 meeting and several topics were discussed that have a familiar ring even today. Dr. McDonald, Director of Alcoholic Rehabilitation Center, Butner discussed how the ARC staff might improve follow-up procedures with patients and their families back to the local programs. Dr. Kelly appointed a committee to build greater support for local programs through the legislature. Dr. Kelly also appointed a committee to investigate the possibilities of strengthening the organization of Alcoholism Programs of North Carolina. Also discussed were service training and alcohol education in the school system.

Other questions which came up at the early meetings were admission policies for patients to ARC and information regarding discharge and follow-up from ARC. During the early meetings, it was announced that Yale University Center of Alcohol Studies would not be holding any more sessions after the 19th Annual Session scheduled for July 7, 1961.

During the year of 1961, APNC’s greatest concern was educating communities on alcohol and alcoholism. On February 23, 1961, the Alcoholism Programs of North Carolina held a meeting at the Mid-Pines Hotel, Southern Pines, with Dr. Norbert Kelly acting as the convener. Mr. Don Dancy presented a report of the committee of APNC organization. He presented copies of the proposed by-laws; Each article was discussed and after a few changes, it was voted to proceed with the adopting of the amended by-laws. Mr. Dancy was instructed to bring copies of the amended bi-laws to the next APNC meeting for final vote.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

clear formPost comment