SIR is a group of approximately 27,000 men who are retired from full-time employment. The organization is incorporated by the State of California under California Law as a "Non-Profit Public Benefit Organization for Public Purposes." It is organized into 170 local Branches from Salinas and Fresno in the South, to the Oregon border in the North and to Nevada in the East. There is a State organization that oversees the Branch activities, but generally each Branch operates independently with its own Executive Committee as a governing body.
Most retired men enjoy associating with other men over luncheon and taking part in various SIR-sponsored activities. When men are asked about what the best thing is about retirement, most respond that, "I now have the freedom to do what I want to do when I want," or "not punching a time clock," or "no commuting," and "reduced pressure".
SIR offers an opportunity to associate with men who are in your same position. The reasons for joining SIR are numerous but mostly it is simply to be able to meet for lunch for companionship.
SIR believes in "Promoting the independence and dignity of retirement." The SIR copyrighted insignia is the Rooster. Mr. Reynolds explained the rooster image in this way:
"Of all the creatures on Earth, none expresses independence and dignity with more aplomb than the rooster. The majesty of his presence is felt in every barnyard, and when he crows he can be heard for miles, not in a fainthearted crow, but with a noise that calls attention to his majestic being."
When Mr. Damian L. Reynolds, the founder of SIR, retired at the age of 55, he devoted himself to his many hobbies and was active in many fraternal circles. In spite of these many activities, Damian Reynolds felt the loss of companionship which he enjoyed with other businessmen during his employment years. He believed that the true worth of the world lies in the friendship of man for his fellow man. Damian Reynolds had been in the habit of meeting occasionally for a friendly lunch with three retired friends in the San Mateo area. One Spring day in 1958 he came up with the thought that other retired men might enjoy getting together over lunch also. Mr. Reynolds asked his friends to join him in this idea and they agreed to do so. A kickoff luncheon was held with fourteen men at the Claramar Restaurant in San Mateo on July 25, 1958. A second luncheon with eighteen men was held on August 20, 1958 at which time they came up with the name Sons in Retirement. From this humble beginning with fourteen men, SIR has grown to a Statewide organization with 175 branches and approximately 32,000 members. Peninsula Branch 1, the birth of which Damian Reynolds midwifed and ably served as the first Big SIR, exists no more as such. By unanimous vote of Peninsula's membership it was renamed "Damian Reynolds Branch"