Anyone recall asemblies actually being fun?

by tim hooper 56 Replies latest jw friends

  • Quendi

    My very first district convention was in 1975 at Huntsville, Alabama. My last was in 2005 in Loveland, Colorado. Those early years were a lot of fun for the reasons others have already given. Maybe being a single man who was foot-loose and fancy free made them so, but I look back on them fondly. Now I am only too glad to miss them and as others have noted, as the years passed conventions became more of a chore than a joy. I'm glad to have convention-free summers now and wouldn't trade them for anything.


  • ohnightdivine

    No. It was never fun.

    Open-air facility with hard benches that made my butts hurt from sitting the entire day.

  • Phaedra

    They were only fun for me as a kid when I got to volunteer helping in the cafeteria downstairs in the old Circuit assembly venue on Ashland Avenue that used to be a theater in Chicago. Plus during intermission there were plenty of levels and staircases to be climbed... velvet ropes to step over, and balcony seats to be sat in!


  • L3G


    I understand and agree. Some people here are so 100% negative toward anything JW/WTS that they will never say anything positive about the assemblies, or anything else JW. You know, of course, that not all here are that way. I loved the old assemblies and when they began to change in the mid-80s (the Jaraczic era), I was bummed about it. I remember those wonderful times working to set the big assemblies up, the stage, the supplies (I got to drive a forklift for the first and only time in my life), the food prep, the meals, the wide ranging association, rules only when they were necessary, compared to today, the freedom---it was wonderful. I got to reach outside of my local congo and make friends that lasted my entire Witness life long. It really helped me to widen my horizons. It was great fun---such a change from the local hum-drum. And as strange as the old GB were, they were SOOOO much better than the current crop! And yes, the Witnesses at that time did think more. It was fun to have theological or other conversations with them. Now they are all zombified or too scared to express their personal views.

    I enjoyed your comments and can relate to them.

  • LisaRose

    The first few were nice, from 1969 to 1975, There was a sense of urgency, many new ones getting baptized, etc. After that I had children, which made it more of a chore, plus you lost that sense of something great happening. It used to be a good way to catch up with those you knew in other congregations, but they keep shuffling the circuits around so often you didn't know anyone. By the end it was pretty miserable, I stopped going the last few years. It was not very encouraging to be constantly told that you were not doing enough.

  • shopaholic

    Nothing about that looked fun but I can how it would seem adventurous for kids. Stamp that video with the name of another religion and JW's would scream CULT!

  • FlyingHighNow

    8 days?? That was not a well balanced meal, the bangers and rice. Bathing caps. Phew, glad the 8 days were history by the time I started studying. 4 days was hard enough. We did have some fun, Tim, but mostly the conventions were too hot and quite exhausting.

  • Xanthippe

    Yes I do remember the assemblies being fun as a kid. Fun food like beef burgers that we didn't have at home. Dramas. Seeing your friends. Even traveling on coaches, we never went anywhere else, couldn't afford it. I remember singing on the coach, kingdom songs of course, but quite fun when everyone joined in.

    When I was nineteen I went to a convention and there was something wrong. It just didn't feel right, like the heart had gone out of the religion. Looking back that was 1977, so post 1975 and everone who was still in was pretty fed up I suppose. I can remember that feeling so distinctly, standing on the terraces and thinking what is it that's changed. I was changing too I suppose, slowly waking up, pity it took me another eleven years!

  • dozy

    When I was young , I really used to enjoy assemblies - I have a lot of happy memories just chilling with friends , working on food service , trying ( usually unsuccessfully!) to chat up young sisters. The sessions of course were long & boring but if you could get a job that involved missing some of them then it was actually quite enjoyable. I remember one particular convention when I was dating a cute pioneer sister , it was really sunny , there were lots of friends around having a fun time and it was probably some of the best few days of my life. In fact , I even went to a "listening" assembly as I enjoyed the experience so much.

    As Antioch has said , there was a time when there was a lot more emphasis on being a decent Christian and you really left the assemblies feeling good & built up - I guess that kind of changed after the purge in the late 70's when the WTBTS became much more Pharisaical. Nowadays JWs kind of leave feeling that they have to do more more more for the society & feel guilty & beaten up. There was also an exciting feeling that Armageddon really was imminent which also has diminished with the passage of time.

    Latterly of course other things have changed - food service was scrapped , there was a change towards purpose built indoor venues rather than the big outdoor stadiums , much shorter lunch breaks , clamping down on social events in the evening - and it wasn't really much fun any longer. The last few assemblies & conventions that I went to I honestly couldn't get away quickly enough.

  • jookbeard

    I always remember the "Randy" drama at Twickenham sometime during the late 80's , the hip/trendy and beautiful people would all sit on the first and second tier of the West Stand and when the "randy" scream bellowed out from the loud speaker system in that high pitched New York accent the first screams of laughter came form that stand, I was working field security at the time yards from that stand!

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