In November 1993 Branch 171 was founded by 32 members of Pleasant Hill Branch 146, Branch 171’s sponsor. From this beginning Branch 171 grew to 285 members by December 2008 with 37 applicants on its waiting list for membership.
Membership size (and the number of applicants that could be considered for membership) was limited by the maximum seating accommodation and parking space available at the meeting and luncheon venue. Waiting time required by applicants for membership was approaching three years.
In early 2009 then Big SIR Jim Gibney established a task force to evaluate available options that would permit the induction of all current applicants and also allow the Branch to grow without a size restraint. After study the only viable option was to form a new branch from current members (and waiting list applicants) that would voluntarily transfer to the new branch. When a survey indicated that there were sufficient numbers who would voluntarily transfer their membership, a new Branch 174 was formed.
After the establishment of Branch 174 there was no impediment to promptly inducting as new members all those who had been languishing on the waiting list. Both branches eagerly devoured the waiting list, with each member choosing whether he wanted to meet the first Wednesday of the month (Branch 171) or the second Wednesday of the month (Branch 174). Now there is no waiting time to join SIR.
Each branch has an engaged membership where the individuals enjoy each other’s company. And both branches are on sound financial footings. Branch 171 offers a host of activities including bocce ball, bridge, computers & technology, fishing, golf, investments, pinochle, tennis, travel, and wine tasting. Some of these activities are held jointly with our sister Branch 174, and many of them are open to the ladies in our lives.
The Beginning of Sons in Retirement, Inc. (SIR)
And Important Member Information
Realizing the social nature of man, and his desire for the company of others, particularly those retired from gainful employment in commercial and professional life, the late Damian L. Reynolds conceived the idea of SONS IN RETIREMENT in the spring of 1958.
Three friends, all retired, would meet with Mr. Reynolds on occasion for a friendly luncheon. He suggested to these three they join with him in his idea. A kickoff luncheon was held in the Claramor Restaurant in San Mateo, California on July 23, 1958. The four founders and five of their friends came to the luncheon. The name “Sons in Retirement” was unanimously adopted by eighteen charter members of the new club at a second meeting on August 20, 1958.
The corporation’s copyrighted insignia is the Rooster. Quoting the late Damian Reynolds: “Of all the creatures on earth, none expresses independence and dignity with more sureness and aplomb than the rooster.” The majesty of his presence is felt in the barnyard, and when he crows he can be heard for miles, not in a faint-hearted crow but with a nose that calls attention to his majestic being.” This together with the slogan, “Promoting the Independence and Dignity of Retirement” sums up the feeling of accomplishment and meaning of SONS IN RETIREMENT.
Administration: – Sons in Retirement is administered by a State Board of Directors made up of an Executive Committee and all of the Regional Directors which govern the entire SIR organization. There are 9 Regions, each headed up by a Director. Each Regional Director is elected annually by the Area Governors within the Region. Each Region is subdivided into a given number of Areas. Each Area is headed by an Area Governor.
Basic guidelines of SONS IN RETIREMENT were set forth in Rules and Procedures. These were drawn up at the time of incorporation in the latter part of 1959. The State Board of Directors has made revisions in the Rules and Procedures from time to time. A summation of guidelines follows:
- SIR is a luncheon club composed of men retired from full-time gainful employment regardless of age or race.
- There are no dues, initiation fees or assessments, other than normal voluntary contributions to cover expenses.
- The organization espouses no political party, religion or sect of any kind, or promotes no cause regardless of how worthy.
- Eligible men may be invited to join after attending at least one luncheon meeting at the invitation of a sponsor and being introduced to the other members present.
- Each Branch meets monthly for lunch, at each member’s expense, and a suitable program is part of each luncheon.
- If you are unable to attend a luncheon or are bringing a guest, call and report this to the Attendance Chairman in accordance with Branch rule. This assists in ordering the correct number of luncheons.
- More than six reported or more than three unreported luncheon-meeting absences in twelve consecutive months could demonstrate a lack of interest that might result in ones suspension. Attendance at another Branch’s Luncheon during the stated 12-month period is accepted as part of the six required luncheons.
- Volunteers fill all positions. We encourage “The Spirit of Volunteerism” and solicit your involvement including Branch officer positions, committee duties, and bringing in new members.
- A member may invite an acquaintance he feels would enjoy the SIR fellowship to join him for a luncheon If your guest is receptive have him complete a membership application and give it to your Membership Committee.