The story of Branch 79 properly begins with our sister Branch, Placer Gold Branch 37. The first Auburn Branch of SIR, Inc. Branch 37 was organized in 1972. By 1979 it had accumulated a large and unwieldy membership and a substantial waiting list.
During this time, Branch 79 met for its regular luncheon meeting at Whispering Pines restaurant, located about 14 miles south of Auburn. In 1979, Branch 37 Big SIR, Cecil Lonergan, requested permission from the SIR state board to establish a second SIR Branch in the Auburn area. Branch 37’s wildly scattered members supported Cecil’s effort. An organizing meeting was held on May 30th, 1979. It was attended by 41 (adventurers) who met at the Jimmy Inn, located just off of Interstate 80 in the town of Weimar.
The new (probationary) Branch received the SIR Branch #79 because it was the 79th SIR Branch to be formed. The membership elected to call their new Branch Sierra Hills Branch 79. Branch 79 acquired the necessary 100 members needed for a regular status within 4 months. The Branch was incorporated under California law on October 17th 1979 and received its SIR charter from the state board on November 29th 1979. The timely accreditation of the charter was celebrated at the Yule Tide SIR Ladies Luncheon.
Due to the continued rapid growth of Branch 79, it became necessary in early 1980 to find a larger facility than the Jimmy Inn. After a search of the area, the Lake of the Pines Country Club was selected. Ironically, this set the stage for a repeat of the commute problem that was instrumental in the founding of Branch 79. It seems that a large segment of Branch 79 membership resided in Auburn Lake Trails in Cool, which resulted in a long commute. To alleviate this commute, and Branch 37’s lengthy waiting list, Branch 37 sponsored a third Auburn area Branch. The state board granted permission to form Branch 138 consisting of Branch 37 waiting list. And those members of Branch 79 with the long commute.
The rendering of membership into three separate Branches has had no effect on the fellowship enjoyed by the Auburn SIR members. Members of all three Branches continue to enjoy combined common social and sporting activities.
Three events pertaining to Branch 79’s birth are historically recorded in the archives of our Branch. October 17th, 1979 is the anniversary upon which our secretary must file the annual report with the California Secretary of State. The dates May 30th, 1979 and November 29th, 1979 are nostalgic memories of the charter members who participated in the struggles and excitement in creating new SONS IN RETIREMENT Branches.