Skip to main content

SIR Friends for Life•  Welcome! 
What is SIR? - 2 minute Video
Sons In Retirement (SIR) is a non profit public benefit corporation for men.  The purpose of SIR is to assist men in renewing friendships and making new friends through SIR activities.  Having fun is our goal.  The only requirement is that a man attends a lunch once each month.

SIR is not a service club and we do not raise money, flip pancakes or endorse any particular religion or political party.  We do have a small fee to cover expenses.

We pledge allegiance to the flag, and sing "God Bless America" before each lunch meeting.  If you're interested in associating with a great group of guys who do not have to prove who they are and come from all walks of life, then join SIR. To learn more about our mission, history and outlook for 2019 click on the bars below. 

Accordion Widget
Read Our Mission
Read Our Mission
SIR Mission Statement  The Mission of SIR is to improve the lives of our members through fun activities and events – while making friends for life.
We have over 13,500 members in 117 Branches throughout northern California from Bakersfield to the Oregon border and Lake Tahoe to the Pacific Ocean.
Membership is open to men retired from full-time occupation, regardless of age, race, color or religion.
Member volunteers staff, administer and govern all Branch activities. SIR supports no outside cause or interest.
We prohibit discussions of politics and religion or the selling of anything to any member.
The only requirements to join SIR are that a man be retired, or semi-retired, be able to attend the monthly luncheons, and be sponsored by an active member.
Each Branch has monthly luncheon meetings where Sirs renew old friendships and establish new ones.
Speakers are invited to speak on topical subjects of general interest.
Most Branches have summer and winter luncheons where wives, partners and guests are invited.
Our founders chose the rooster as the official SIR logo to represent the freedom he displays around the barnyard.
We have paid our dues to the business world and now is the time for us to strut and crow a little.

Accordion Widget
Our Beginning
Our Beginning
Realizing the social nature of man and the desire for the company of others, particularly those retired from gainful employment, the late Damian L. Reynolds conceived the idea of SONS IN RETIREMENT in the Spring of 1958.  Meeting at luncheon in San Mateo with three friends, he proposed his plan, it was accepted, and the groundwork was formed.  A kick-off luncheon was held in San Mateo on July 23, 1958.  A second meeting was held on August 20 of that year - the eighteen attendees adopted the name “Sons in Retirement” and became its Charter Members.  SIR was incorporated in 1959.
It was dedicated as a luncheon club for retired men which would meet monthly and provide a program of conduct.  Members would purchase their own lunch, but there would be no dues, initiation fees or assessments other than individual, voluntary contributions to cover general expenses.  The organization would espouse no political party, religion or sect of any kind, but did adopt a symbol - the Rooster - to represent the freedom, dignity and independence enjoyed by all Sirs.

Accordion Widget
Miwok at Thirty-Three…A Look Back
Miwok at Thirty-Three…A Look Back
The history of SIR Branch 134 is the story of a large, active and well-managed social club for retired men.  It's been very successful - so much so, that for thirty years it never had a meeting place large enough to seat all its active and prospective members.
A spinoff from Branch 68, the Miwok started in May 1986, in a Novato Bowling Alley.

Accordion Widget

The Inaugural Meeting was held at the Nave Gardens, a restaurant and bar in Nave Lanes, and was attended by 54 members, as well as many men with interest in SIRS.  Don Shank was the original Big Sir, and he welcomed 79 Charter Members.  The first Tepee Talk was published that month, and we received the State Charter in November.

By the end of 1986 membership had increased to 102.  The Meeting venue had moved to the Phoenix Garden, where $7 luncheons and $1 drinks were served.  Branch activities included golf, bowling, tennis, travel, fishing and RVing.  Miwok joined with Branch 68 for its first Christmas Party.

By mid-1987, Branch membership had increased to its practical maximum of 125, and there was a waiting list - a situation that was to last for 22 years.  The Chapter held its first Garden Party and Barbecue, and its own Christmas Party.  A new interest group, Armchair Travelers, was formed.  In 1988, the Meeting site moved to a new location in Novato, California Fish, and the luncheon cost rose to $8.

In 1989, the Branch held its first Crab Feed and its first Day at the Races; and, two new interest groups were added - Dominoes and Couples' Bridge.  For a short time in 1990, the monthly meeting site moved to the Alvarado Inn - and eventually, in 1991, to San Rafael Joe's - where it was to remain for 19 years.  Lunches cost $10, the membership was full, and the waiting list continued to grow.

Accordion Widget
An area-wide computer group, CompuSirs, was formed in 1993.  The Tepee Talk was expanded from 2 to 4 pages in 1994, and Sir of the Month was started.  Charter Member and Secretary Ed Lathrop was the first SOTM.  In the same year a Walking Group was activated.  In 1995, the Branch started a travel committee, Trips and Tours, and a Bicycling Group.  1996 saw the launching of two more Area-wide activities - Investors Lunch Bunch and Bocce Ball.

The Great Books Discussion Group started in 1999.  At the turn of the century, San Rafael Joe's luncheon meetings were always packed in spite of the difficult parking, and the meal cost had risen to $13.  Charter Member Jack Laycock was selected for Honorary Life Membership in 2001, our first HLM.

To shorten the growing waiting list in 2003, the Branch membership cap was raised to 135, and quickly filled.  Our Golf team won the Area 6 tournament, and the luncheon cost was raised to $16.  In 2005, a new Tennis Group was started by Bill Cline.  Our first Spaghetti Feed was served in 2007.  In 2008, a Fly-fishing group, the “Rooster Flycatchers” was activated, and Howard Bassett was awarded Honorary Lifetime Membership.  The luncheon tab held fast at $20.

In 2009, Big Sir Jim Matthews steered the Branch to its new venue at Marin Country Club in Novato - a newer, larger and closer facility with better parking and fine cuisine.  The waiting list disappeared (temporarily), and 19 new members were admitted.

Membership kept growing in 2010, to 167 active.  Many new activity groups were formed, including Hiking, Bicycling, Genealogy, Military History, Men’s Bridge, Timeshares, Science Discussion, Poker, and Applied Technology.  Twenty-eight new memberships were accepted, and the Tepee Talk went digital, available on email.  

Active membership was again capped in 2011, at 170, and two new activities were added - Gardening and Sporting Events.  Sirs Al Crozier and John Crawford received Honorary Lifetime Membership in 2011, Irwin Herlihy, in 2013, Tony Marelich in 2015.
Starting in February 2016, the Branch has moved to Embassy Suites in San Rafael.  This venue has a much larger seating capacity, so the waiting list has again been eliminated and membership increased to 182 members with no cap.  Luncheon increased to $28.  Bill Cline in was elevated to Honorary Life Member in 2017.

Our special interest Activities continued to grow - Woodworking, Creative Arts, Foreign Policy, Coin Collecting, Photography, Bocce, Cooking, Harmony Singers and Sports Talk.  Luncheons now include a Book Exchange and Display of member’s Hobbies and Collections.   We now have 36 special activity groups.

Accordion Widget
Under the careful supervision of our fearless 2019 leader Big Sir Gene Thornton, Branch 134 navigated through some choppy waters. We watched our branch grow to 204 members. That’s the good news!  In Marin County, there are few places that can accommodate a group our size. The 2020 Board of Directors, under the new leadership of Big Sir Ken Putnam and Little Sir Mike Winsor, will take on the challenge of finding a place to hold our luncheons at the current cost of $30, if possible.

We only report good news, so the other good news is that we have a new Web Site thanks to the leadership of Jay Kuhlman. This was a necessary addition to our branch as a vehicle to reduce increased and out of control costs that the board faced each month. Over the next few months, the way we communicate and relay information will be through our new website. We will try to make this an easy transition and will be addressed at our Monthly luncheons.

Embodiment of the SIR Mission is alive and well.  Status Quo is most certainly not applicable to Branch 134.
The Branch Executive Committee (BEC) meets monthly at 9AM on the Thursday following the Tuesday luncheon meeting.
The BEC meeting is held at the VFW Hall, Post 7816, 844 Sweetser, Novato.

Stay in touch with statewide news »

SIR Branch 134

BIG SIR                       KEN PUTNAM            (530) 949-5293

                                    186 Emerson Ave

                                    Novato, CA  94949

LITTLE SIR                  MIKE WINSOR          (415) 328-2136

                                    770 St Francis Ave

                                    Novato, CA  94947


SECRETARY                 BILL CLINE                (415) 892-0209

                                    33 Brown Dr

                                    Novato, CA  94947

ASSISTANT                 JOHN HAMMOND        (415) 479-3013

SECRETARY                 550 Miller Creek Rd

                                    San Rafael, CA  94903

TREASURER                 HARRY THOMAS         (415) 892-1116

                                    15 Jefferson Ct

                                    Novato, CA 94947

ASSISTANT                 LYNN RODICH             (415) 892-5440

TREASURER              1 Fabian Ct

                                    Novato, CA 94947


JESSE BEDI,  Membership                                (415) 892-3658

BOB HAAR,  Attendance                                   (415) 479-5611

VERN SMITH, 20/21                                        (415) 897-1701

LARRY MAZZOTTA, 20/21                               (415) 897-9150

MATT MIRABELLA, 19/20                                (415) 892-3167

ASH SUBRAMANIAN, 19/20                            (571) 455-6052