SIR Branch 62 History

Historian - Wally Anderson

Sunnyvale Branch 62 was established in 1976 to relieve the waiting lists of prospective SIR applicants at various Area 5 branches. Orchard Valley Branch 54, one of the 6 area branches in the greater San Jose area at that time, agreed to be the sponsor.

Of the 54 signers of the original petition submitted to the SIR State Board of Directors on April 5, 1976 requesting approval of the new branch, 38 were members of Mission Branch 32 and only 2 were members of Branch 54! Branches 6, 2, 38 and 39 each had one member among the original signers and there were 10 signers who were not members of SIR at that time.

Branch 62 completed its 6-month probationary period and received its Charter as an incorporated Branch in Area 5 on October 21, 1976. In 1984 Area 5 was divided with Branch 62 and 5 other branches constituting a newly established Area 20.

In December 1988, Branch 62 sponsored the new DeAnza Branch 153 and in 1996 again sponsored another branch - Encinal Branch 177, with 30 Branch 62 members transferring to the new organization. It was agreed at the first organizational meeting of Branch 62 that the membership would be held to a maximum of 150. However, over the ensuing years various Branch Executive Committees revised the maximum figure, raising it in increments to a high of 300 in 1987, then lowering it to 275 in 1988, down to 250 in 1989 and 225 in 1996. At the end of 1999 the membership number was 168. Branch 62 met at the Red Coach Inn, Cupertino, for its first 7 years.  In March 1983, the meetings were moved to Zorba, San Jose, and in July 1986 to the Bold Knight in Sunnyvale. Beginning in January 1991, the meetings were moved to the Radison House lnn, Sunnyvale. The Admiral Moffett Banquet Center at Moffett Field in Mountain View became our home in August 1991 and continued through December 1993. January of 1994 witnessed a move to the Elks Lodge No. 2128, which took us back to our hometown of Sunnyvale.

YEAR 2001
The year 2001 brought Branch 62 to its 25th Anniversary in the month October. The year 2002 saw the Branch Membership decrease slightly from 170 to 167. The strong programs and recreational activities of Branch 62 were key to the success in keeping the membership rolls reasonably stable. We are sad to report that 5 members passed on and will be sorely missed.

YEAR 2003
The year 2003 provided Branch 62 with continued strong support for its SIR fellowship programs. The 18-Hole Golf "Hookers & Slicers" played on various golf courses each Monday. Jim Mellenger & Bill McTiernan won the bi-annual Jim Lewis Memorial Golf Trophy for low net at Sunnyvale Golf Course. The "Statesman" Bowling Group played at Homestead Lanes each Tuesday. Branch 62 also held the first ABC sponsored Hans Schneeman Bowling Tournament in May at Homestead Lanes. The 9-Hole Golf "Wyllie Bunch" played at Sunken Gardens Golf Course each Wednesday. The Travel group completed a Branch 62 sponsored trip entitled Great Trains & Grand Canyon Tour with success. An average of 121 members attended the Monthly Luncheon meetings at the Sunnyvale Elks club and listened to guest speakers who provided topics of discussion for the members. During the year we were saddened by the loss of five members who were, Ken Baird, Vern Forsling, Randy Middleton, Clarence Regehr and John Starkovich.

YEAR 2004
In 2004, we started out with 161 members and ended up with 148, with 6 people on the waiting list. Eleven members transferred to other branches and 7 resigned. We also had to sadly report that 4 members died; Bert Swanson, Ernie Paris, Mario Schiavenza, and Harry Balster. In February 2004 Branch 62 initiated a monthly drawing to award a member, who was present, a free lunch ticket. Who said there's no free lunch!! In June 2004 we began a Condolence Committee with Claud Keith as chairman with 10 members who assisted him. Our Guest Speaker Raymond Pole, in October 2004, liked what he saw and became a member of Sir Branch 62 in November 2004 with badge #5. Book Swap chairman John Brownie reported there were now audio discs and tapes available. Dinner Dance programs were held in June and December.

YEAR 2005
During 2005, membership in Branch 62 had remained at about 150. The branch Travel Program has provided the members with a number of enjoyable outings. The "R&B" Nine Hole Golf Program continued weekly at Sunken Gardens, while the "Tillinger's Tigers" eighteen-hole golf program continued every Monday at various local courses. The Bowling Program at Homestead Lanes had good participation. Likewise, the book exchange experienced a steady turnover of books, videotapes and DVDs. In June, Branch 62 held its first Ladies' Day Bar-B-Q at Ortega Park with a great turnout. The members continued to enjoy the presentations of guest speakers at monthly luncheon meetings. In addition, on occasion during the social hour prior to the luncheon, members exhibited examples of their hobby activities. During the year, we were saddened by the loss of three members. The year concluded with the Annual Christmas Dinner Dance at the Elks Club on December, 15th.

YEAR 2006
The year 2006 was a year of membership flux, we lost 20 active members and gained 9 new ones. This gives us an active membership of 139. We still enjoy two golf programs and one bowling program and the third annual bowling tournament. We enjoyed a branch Picnic in June and a Dinner Dance in December, We enjoyed 10 speakers in 2006 ranging from Civil Air Patrol to Reverse Mortgages.

YEAR 2007
In 2007 our membership at the beginning of the year was 138 and ended the year with 140, which meant 12 new members and 10 removed from the roster. We have successfully continued with our two golf programs and one bowling program. In addition, we have noted the success of our new program, the book exchange. The travel program sold out a trip to the Panama Canal. Our guest speaker topics ranged from Global Warming to a Tuskegee Airman. As always, we had our picnic in June and our dinner dance in December.

YEAR 2009
In 2009, our membership at the beginning of the year was 131 active members and 2 inactive members. We ended the year with 129 active members and six inactive members. We had three deaths during the year. We have continued with our 9 hole and 18 hole golf programs and a very successful bowling program. The book exchange program continues to be very popular as is the travel club, which is active in arranging trips on a local, national and foreign level. The guest speaker program continues to be the highlight of the monthly lunches, with a series of very interesting guest speakers. Again as in years past, the June picnic and the Christmas dinner dance were well attended and thoroughly enjoyed by all who participated.

YEAR 2010
The year 2010 started with 129 active members and six inactive members; we ended the year with 127 active members and eight inactive members. Unfortunately, we had seven deaths but we recruited 13 new members, which was our goal. The balance between transfers in and transfers out left us down two members. The Branch continues to support activities in two Golf Leagues (18 hole and 9 hole) and a Bowling League. In addition, we have a Book Swap group for trading books at each meeting. The Travel group arranged several trips this year which included local, national, and foreign travel. The Special Events committee again had a June Picnic and a Christmas Dinner Dance where the 2011 officers were sworn in by the Area Governor.

YEAR 2013
The year 2013 started with 109 members and 10 inactive members and ended the year with 101 active and 10 inactive. Unfortunately we had a few deaths but did add 3 new members, far below our goal. Our branch continues to have 2 golf and 1 bowling league which could use a few more members participating. We continue our popular book swap at every meeting. Our travel group offers several trips each year but isn't getting very much participation. We had our yearly picnic and Christmas dance that included wives, significant others and invited guests.


YEAR 2014
In 2014, our membership at the beginning of the year was 101 active members and 11 inactive members. We ended the year with 92 active members and 17 inactive members.

The Big Sir for 2014 was Mr. Mal Hopkins and the Little Sir was Mr. Bob Hebson.

We have continued with our 9 Hole and 18 Hole Golf programs and a very successful bowling program.  The Book Exchange program continues to be very popular as is the Travel Club, which is active in arranging trips on a local, national and foreign level.

In addition to those programs, we now have Poker and Bridge groups that have started in our branch. The guest speaker program continues to be the highlight of the monthly lunches with a series of very interesting guest speakers. Again, as in years past, the June picnic and the Christmas dinner dance were well attended and thoroughly enjoyed by all who participated.

YEAR 2015
In 2015 we were able to provide Bobbie Byers with the Honorary Life Member (HLM) award for all of his exemplary service to the Branch. This is a special award since only 2 members in our Branch are allowed to be HLMs.

We have continued with our 9 Hole and 18 Hole Golf programs and Bowling program. This year we added Bocce Ball as an activity. This seems to be growing in popularity within SIR. In addition to those programs, the monthly luncheons continue with a series of very interesting speakers. Following the lunches, we have a group that plays Poker. Poker is not the only card game played by our members as we also have a Bridge group that plays twice a month. Again, as in years past, the June Picnic and the Christmas Dinner Dance were well attended and thoroughly enjoyed by all who participated. The Book Exchange program continues to be very popular as is the Travel Club which is active in arranging trips on a local and foreign level.


YEAR 2016
We began the year with 86 active Sirs attending the monthly meetings and chapter activities. Sirs attendance has been declining thru out the state for several years. Studies for the cause were taken resulting in the conclusion that each branch has to improve in Recruitment, increase the number of branch Activities, recognize Member participation and contributions and increase Sir name Publicity. RAMP was implemented in every Sir branch. We implemented RAMP in January with Jim Hohenshelt’s direction assisted by Jeff Bautista (Recruitment), Russ Kohlrust (Activities), and Heber Slusser (Membership and Publicity). A successful first year implementation resulted in 7 new members joining our chapter, 1 new activity (wine tasting), and joining 4 social media websites in addition to our chapter website.




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