Fraternal Order of Eagles

The magnificent watch chain shown above is made from woven human hair, most likely contributed by a wife or girlfriend.  Though some Nineteenth Century hair pieces marked the death of a loved one (mourning pieces), many, likely including this one, commemorated living relationships.

The watch fobs with eagle talons such as those shown here were made in the days long before eagles became a protected species.  The pieces shown here date from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. 

On February 6th,1898 the Fraternal Order of Eagles was founded by six theater owners sitting on a pile of lumber in Moran's shipyard in Seattle Washington. Competitors in the theater industry, they met to discuss a musicians strike. After deciding what to do on that issue, they decided to bury the hatchet and and form an organization dubbed the "Seattle Order of Good Things," the constitution passed a month later renamed the group and asked its members to "make human life more desirable by lessening its ills and promoting peace, prosperity, gladness, and hope."  Within ten years the Eagles had 1,800 lodges scattered throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico, boasting a membership roll that exceeded 350,000.  Members received free medical attention (as did the individual's family), weekly payments in case of sickness, and a funeral benefit--all valuable services before the widespread availability of medical, disability, and life insurance. 

The first meetings were held on the stages of various local theaters and after the business was settled a keg of beer was rolled out and all enjoyed a few hours of social activities.  A few weeks later as their numbers grew they chose the Bald Eagle as their official emblem and changed the name to "The Fraternal Order of Eagles." The membership formed a Grand Aerie in April 1898, secured a charter, drew up a constitution and by-laws and elected it's first president, John Cort. 

Most of the first Eagle members were connected with the theatre, actors, stagehands, playwrights, etc., and as they went on tour they carried the story of the new order with them across the United States and Canada.  This is the reason the Eagles grew so quickly and all the way across the country.  Many cities in the east have low aerie numbers such as New York #40, Philadelphia #42 and Buffalo #46.

Fraternal Order of Eagles stated mission is to unite fraternally for mutual benefit, protection, improvement, social enjoyment and association, all persons of good moral character who believe in a Supreme Being to inculcate the principles of liberty, truth, justice and equality, to perpetuate itself as a fraternal organization and to provide for its government as it's Constitution, Laws, Rituals, by-laws or other rules and regulations may from time to time provide, and to promote the general welfare, the Fraternal Order of Eagles ordains this constitution. To promote and raise funds for duly authorized Fraternal Order of Eagles charities and contribute to worthwhile charitable causes.

The officers of a Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie are: Worthy President, Worthy Vice President, Junior Past Worthy President, Secretary, Treasurer, Worthy Chaplain, Worthy Conductor, Trustees, Inside Guard, and Outside Guard.

Over the years, the Eagles have fought and won many battles for a Workman's Compensation Act, Mothers and Old Age pensions, Social Security laws and "Jobs After 40" and are still fighting to liberalize present social benefits along with combating vicious diseases plaguing mankind through their sponsorship of the Art Ehrmann Cancer Fund, Max Bear Heart Fund, Jimmy Durante Children's Fund, "Doc" Dunlap Kidney Fund and the Diabetes Fund.

Many great social and political leaders have belonged to the Eagles.  President Theodore Roosevelt was one of the many who joined and praised the order for its humanitarian accomplishments, as did a later President and Mason Franklin Delano Roosevelt with President and Grand Master Harry S. Truman who often reiterated that the Eagles were his type of organization - one founded by, and for the common man.

flourish.gif (3111 bytes)

Fraternal Order of Eagles
Initiation Ritual  

Opening
 
Officers, please note.
This Ritual is to be spoken, or declaimed, before an Aerie—not read. It has been written with this thought constantly in mind. The words and the sentences, if properly emphasized when spoken, will receive attention and carry an impressiveness that reading will not insure.
Every officer of a local Aerie shall, within sixty days after his installation as such officer, commit to memory that part of the Orders Ritual applying to his station.
It is very important that the Ritual be memorized and studied by the officers. Only in this way can you impress the candidate of the solemnity and dignity of his induction into this fraternity which is dedicated to Service to Humanity.
The Worthy President shall stand from the time he opens the Aerie until he has officially declared the Aerie ready to consider all matters that might rightfully come before it.
Worthy President: Let us have order. Officers, take your places. Inside Guard, ask all members to come into the Aerie room.
The Inside Guard, acting under this order of the Worthy President, which is mandatory, shall insist that all, except visiting Brothers and candidates for initiation, must leave the anteroom; and at no time, while the Aerie is in session, shall he permit members to remain in the anteroom longer than is necessary to work their way into the Aerie room.
Inside Guard: Worthy President, I have obeyed your orders.
Worthy President: Worthy Conductor, with the aid of the Worthy Chaplain, Both the Worthy Conductor and the Worthy Chaplain shall rise as their stations are named, and give the salutation sign. you will examine the official receipts and ascertain if each one present is in good standing.
The Worthy Conductor and the Worthy Chaplain shall go to the Altar, and, facing the Worthy President, give the salutation sign. After being recognized, the Worthy Conductor shall go alone to the station of the Worthy President and pre. sent for inspection his official receipt and give the Worthy President the semiannual password Returning to the Altar where the Worthy Chaplain is standing, the Worthy Conductor shall, in turn, inspect his off icial receipt and receive from him the semiannual password.
At this time the Worthy President shall call the Aerie to its feet.
The Worthy Conductor, beginning with the nearest member on the right of the Worthy President, and the Worthy Chaplain, beginning with the nearest member on the left of the Worthy President, shall examine the official receipts and receive the semiannual password. Each member, after satisfying the examining officer, shall take his seat.
If a Brother is without his official receipt, or is not in possession of the semiannual password, he shall advance to the Altar, face the Worthy President, give the salutation sign, and await the pleasure of the Worthy President.
After the official receipts have been examined, the Worthy Conductor and the Worthy Chaplain shall go to the Altar, give the salutation sign, and, after being recognized by the Worthy President, the Worthy Conductor shall say:
Worthy Conductor: Worthy President, we find all present are in good standing,
In case any member has been challenged because he is without his official receipt or the semiannual password, the Worthy Conductor shall add: except the Brothers before the Altar.
Instead of the plural, the singular form of verbs, or nouns, and of pronouns shall be used throughout the entire text of the Ritual wherever such grammatical changes are necessary.
Worthy President: Thank you; you may return to your places.
The Worthy Conductor and the Worthy Chaplain shall return to their places and be seated.
If any Brother has been challenged, the Worthy President shall say: Brother, you may approach this station.
The member spoken to shall approach the Worthy President on the side nearest the Secretary’s desk.
Worthy President: Brother Secretary, is this Brother in good standing?
The Secretary may ask such questions as he considers necessary in order to give the Worthy President the information asked for.
If the Secretary declares the Brother in good standing, the Worthy President shall give him the semiannual password, or excuse him for his negligence in failing to have his official receipt with him.
If he is not in good standing, the Worthy President must, unless the Brother declares his willingness immediately to comply with the constitutional requirements, rec1uest him to withdraw from the Aerie room.
Worthy President: To all visitors seated in the Aerie room, I bid you welcome.
Worthy Conductor, go to the anteroom, find if there are any visiting Brothers in waiting and, if they can qualify, present them at the Altar.
It is not necessary for any officer, or his attendants, to give any sign when leaving the Aerie room on official business, but each must always work his way back to his station, or place.
During the time the Worthy Conductor is carrying out the instructions of the Worthy President, the members of the Aerie shall remain quietly in their seats.
The Worthy Conductor shall work his way into the Aerie room; that is, he shall give the proper rap on the inner door, enter the Aerie room, advance to the Altar, and give the salutation sign to the Worthy President. If there are no visiting Brothers in waiting, he shall then say: Worthy President, there are no visitors.
The Worthy Conductor shall return to his place and remain standing.
If there is a visiting. Brother in waiting, the Worthy Conductor and the visitor shall work their way into the Aerie room, advance to the Altar, then, together, give the salutation sign to the Worthy President. The Worthy Conductor shall then read from the visitor’s official receipt, and say: Worthy President, I have the pleasure of presenting Brother ... of Aerie Number ... He is in good standing in his Aerie, as shown by his official receipt and his possession of the semiannual password.
Worthy President: I welcome you on behalf of ... Aerie. Please visit us as often as you can.
Worthy Conductor, escort the Brother to a seat.
The Worthy Conductor shall escort the visiting Brother to a seat and then, returning to his own place, give the Worthy President the salutation sign.
The Worthy Conductor shall remain upon his feet until he has discharged the various duties prescribed in the opening ceremonies, after which he shall be seated when the Worthy President seats the Aerie.
Worthy President: Junior Past Worthy President, The Junior Past Worthy President rises and gives the salutation sign. what are your duties during a business session of the Aerie?
Junior Past Worthy President: To sit at the station of Liberty; to urge the right of every Brother to be heard, if he is in order, and to give such advice and counsel to our members as they have a right to expect of one who occupies this exalted station.
The Junior Past Worthy President shall remain standing until the Worthy President seats the Aerie.
Worthy President: Worthy Vice-President, The Worthy Vice-President rises and gives the salutation sign. what are your duties?
Worthy Vice-President: To sit at the station of Truth and to use my voice and influence in urging that all matters of interest to this Aerie be discussed only in the Aerie room. During your absence or disability, Worthy President, I am authorized to preside over the Aerie.
The Worthy Vice-President shall remain standing until the Worthy President seats the Aerie.
Worthy President: Worthy Chaplain, The Worthy Chaplain rises and gives the salutation sign. what are your duties?
Worthy Chaplain: To ask in the name of all, the guidance of God, to urge that wisdom mark all our deliberations, and to insist that Justice be measured out impartially.
The Worthy Chaplain shall remain standing until the Worthy President seats the Aerie.
Worthy President: Worthy Conductor, The Worthy Conductor gives the salutation sign. what does my station symbolize?
Worthy Conductor: Equality.
Worthy President: Brothers, I shall try earnestly to hold at even balance the scales of Justice and to encourage at all times the speaking of the Truth. I shall grant the utmost Liberty of act and word to each Brother as long as he respects the rights of every other Brother. In this way I can best exemplify the spirit of Equality, and to this end you owe me your aid and good will.
At this point in the ceremony no one shall enter or leave the Aerie hall until the Worthy President has declared the meeting open.
The Worthy President shall call the Aerie to its feet.
Worthy President: Worthy Conductor, The Worthy Conductor gives the salutation sign. attend the Flag!
The Worthy Conductor shall go to the station of the Junior Past Worthy President, receive from him the Flag, and place it on the pedestal or other device prepared to receive it.
The Flag and the pedestal or device shall be placed on the side of the Altar on which members enter the Aerie room when the Aerie is in session, and in such position that those who enter the room will face the Flag.
The Flag shall be attached to a suitable staff and shall be of such size and proportions as shall be prescribed by the Grand Aerie The pedestal or device shall be such as not to detract from the dignity of the Flag.
After the Flag is placed on the pedestal or device by the Worthy Conductor, the Worthy President shall say: The Aerie will salute the Flag.
The Aerie shall thereupon give the salutation sign of the Order.
During this part of the ceremony, a patriotic air should be played, and the drill team may execute appropriate formations or  resent some historical tableau. The greatest freedom may be exercised in the selections, so long as they are instructive, and dignified.
Worthy Conductor: This is our Flag. Above it, during the busy day and in the silence of the night, is a sentinel—the Spirit of Liberty—always on duty, guarding the honor of the Nation and the happiness of the home.
As each member, on entering the Aerie room, comes before the Flag, he shall stop and salute it, with the salutation sign of the Order; he shall then step in front of the Altar and give the salutation sign to the Worthy President, then quietly take a seat.
Worthy President: Worthy Conductor, you will lay the Bible upon the Altar.
The Worthy Conductor shall go to the station of the Worthy Chaplain, receive from him the Bible, and place it, opened, upon the Altar.
During this part of the ceremony, a religious air should be played, and the drill team may execute appropriate formations or p resent some Biblical tableau. The greatest form may be exercised in the selections, so long as they are instructive and dignified.
Worthy Conductor: This is the Bible. Its pages contain the wisdom of the ages and its teachings are founded on the everlasting laws of Truth.
Worthy President: Worthy Conductor, attend the Emblem!
The Worthy Conductor shall go to the station of the Worthy Vice-President, receive from him the Eagle, the emblem of our Order, and place the Eagle upon the pedestal or other device prepared for it, at the side of the Altar farthest from the side where the Flag has been placed. The head of the Eagle shall be toward the station of the Worthy President. The Altar shall be flanked by the Flag on the one side and by the Eagle on the other. The Flag should hang free. The Altar shall hold only the Bible. The Eagle shall stand by itself. Thus the Flag, the open Bible, and the Eagle will occupy separate places of dignity and honor in the order named.
During this part of the ceremony, a patriotic air should be played, and the drill team may execute appropriate formations or p resent some historical tableau. The greatest freedom may be exercised in the selections, so long as they are instructive and dignified.
Worthy Conductor: This is the Eagle—the Emblem of our Order. From its beak, in balance, hang the scales of Justice, ready to weigh impartially the merits of every cause. The open sweep of these mighty wings shows strength of purpose to go forth at any moment to the defense of the dearest principle of this Fraternity—Equality.
Worthy President: Worthy Conductor, The Worthy Conductor gives the salutation sign. what is the motto of this Order?
Worthy Conductor: “If I cannot speak well of an Eagle, I Conductor: will not speak ill of him.”
The Worthy Conductor shall return to his place, while the Worthy Chaplain makes his way before the Altar, facing the Worthy President.
Worthy Chaplain: Let us pray.
Our Father: We ask Thy favor on the work that this Aerie is trying to do. We ask Thy presence at the bedside of our sick and in the hearts of those in trouble and in grief. The wish to assist one another; to lessen suffering, whether of the mind or of the body; to encourage a broader spirit of love and brotherhood among men—this wish we present as our offering unto Thee.
If we are loyal and true unto ourselves, we shall be loyal and true unto our Brothers. If we give Justice to all men, we ourselves shall be the better for it. If we believe all men equal in Thy eyes, we shall be the more worthy of Thy loving care.
Help us, Almighty God, to live toward the betterment of our own lives and to be worthy of the ideals of this Order. Amen.
All Members: Amen.
The Worthy President shall seat the Aerie.
The Worthy Chaplain shall return to his place.
Worthy President:  I now declare ... Aerie Number ..., of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, ready to consider all matters that may rightly come before it.
The Worthy President shall be seated.
 
 
Order of Business
 
1. Opening Ceremony.
2. Calling Roll of Officers.
3. Reading of Minutes of Previous Meeting.
4. Propositions for Membership.
5. Report of Investigating Committee.
6. Balloting on Applications.
7. Initiation.
8. Report of Aerie Physician.
9. Report of Sick Visiting Committee.
10. Ordering Warrants for Benefits.
11. Reception and Disposition of Bills, Communications, etc.
12. Reports of Standing Committees.
13. Reports of Special Committees.
14. Excuses of Absentees.
15. Unfinished Business.
16. New Business.
17. Reports of Officers Concerning the Finances of the Aerie and the Status of Members.
18. Report of Aerie Auditor.
19. Reports of Membership Campaign and Membership Security Committees.
20. Good of the Order.
21. Closing Ceremony.
 
 
Initiatory Ceremony
 
In the initiation of a large class of candidates, it is permissible to have them brought into the Aerie room and all seated together—during the regular opening ceremony. When this is done, no balloting on applications for membership shall be conducted.
In the initiation of a large class of candidates, the Worthy Conductor may select and conduct two of the candidates, in lieu of the entire class, for presentation to the respective stations. However, the entire class shall stand during the obligation and during the instructions of the Worthy President. In other respects, the candidates, other than the two being conducted to the various stations, shall sit or stand in response to the gavel.
During the initiatory ceremony, no smoking shall be permitted in the Aerie room.
Conversation or anything of a nature tending to distract the attention of the candidates, or to annoy the officers, shall be rigorously prohibited; and it is not only the right but it is the duty of the Worthy President to exact full obedience to these instructions.
A fine, that shall not be remitted, may be the punishment meted out by the Worthy President for flagrant violations.
The Worthy President shall stand until he has directed the Worthy Conductor to take the candidates to the station of the Junior Past Worthy President.
Worthy President:
Worthy Conductor, The Worthy Conductor rises and gives  the salutation sign. you will retire to the anteroom and learn if there are any candidates seeking membership in our Order.
The Worthy Conductor shall go to the anteroom. On his return, he shall work his way into the Aerie room; that is, he shall give the proper rap on the inner door, enter the Aerie room, advance to the Altar, upon reaching the Flag, stop and give the salutation sign, then step to the Altar and give the salutation sign to the Worthy President and say: Worthy President, I find in waiting  candidates.
The Worthy Conductor shall announce the number of candidates in waiting. If there is only one candidate, the singular form of verbs, nouns, and other parts of speech shall be substituted for the plural
forms used in this Ritual.
Worthy President: Have the candidates been properly elected?
The Secretary shall rise, give the salutation sign, and say: They have.
If charges, oral or written, have been filed with the Worthy President against a legally elected applicant, that, in the opinion of the Worthy President, should be investigated before the applicant is initiated, the Worthy President shall direct the Worthy Conductor or some friend of the applicant to tell the applicant, before he enters the Aerie room, that his initiation must be delayed.
The Worthy President shall at the same session appoint a new Committee on Investigation. This latter shall report to the Acne at its next meeting. If a majority of the members present at such meeting favor a re-balloting for electron, a ballot shall be taken at this session in the usual way. The legal number of adverse votes, or blackballs, shall reject the petitioner.
Worthy President: Brother Secretary, have the required fees been paid?
It is the duty of the Secretary to collect the dues before the initiatory ceremony, but if the Secretary has failed to do so, and so advises the Worthy President, the Worthy President shall say: You will please retire and collect them.
When this has been done, the Secretary shall return to his place, give the salutation sign, and say: Worthy President, the fees have been
collected.
Worthy President: The Worthy Conductor will now make such preparations as are necessary for the ceremony of initiation.
All members, except those assisting the Worthy Conductor, shall remain seated while preparations for initiation are being made.
Worthy Conductor: Worthy President, giving the salutation sign the Aerie is now ready to receive the candidates.
Worthy President: Then, Worthy Conductor, you may bring them before the Altar.
No one—including the Worthy Conductor and his attendants—shall converse with the candidates while they are being prepared for the ceremony and being conducted to the Aerie room. An unbroken silence will add to the dignity and the impressiveness of the ceremony, and the Worthy President has full authority to enforce this rule. However, the Worthy Conductor shall have the right to give an audible command to the drill team, candidates, or both, to facilitate their proper presence at the Altar and at the several stations.
While the obligation, the lectures and the instructions to the candidates are being given, no one shall be permitted to retire from the Aerie room unless the need is urgent, in which event he shall quietly leave without approaching the Altar.
Members entering the Aerie room during this time shall take seats near the door, and make their proper approach to the Altar upon the conclusion of the initiatory ceremony.
The Worthy Conductor with his attendants, if any, accompanied by the candidates, shall make his way to the inner door and give a rap The Inside Guard, after inspection, shall report: Worthy Vice-President, the Worthy Conductor, with candidates, seeks admission.
The Worthy Vice-President shall rise, give the salutation sign, and say: Worthy President, the Worthy Conductor, with candidates, seeks admission.
Worthy President: In the name of Liberty, Truth, Justice and Equality, admit them.
The Worthy President calls up the Aerie.
The Aerie room shall remain well lighted until after the Obligation has been given.
The Inside Guard opens the door, and the Worthy Conductor, his attendants, and the candidates enter, the candidates in columns of two. They shall march slowly into the hall in such manner as the Worthy Conductor deems fitting, and form at the Altar, Facing the Worthy President, the candidates being at the Altar, the attendants one pace behind, and the Worthy Conductor at the extreme right of the formation.
During the entrance into and the marching around the hall, there should be appropriate music. When the candidates and attendants are properly grouped at the Altar, the Worthy Conductor shall say to the Worthy President: Worthy President, the candidates are before the Altar.
Worthy President: Worthy Conductor, what do our friends wish?
Worthy Conductor: They ask the protection and the aid of the members of this Fraternity, and desire to be bound by the ties that bind us.
The Worthy President shall advance to the Altar, and, taking a position facing the candidates, say: My friends, are you willing to take upon your conscience a solemn vow, which, while pledging you to devote your best efforts to upholding the teachings of this Order, will in no way conflict with any civic or religious duty? You will please answer.
The candidates shall answer.
Worthy President:
Do you believe in the existence of a Supreme Being? You will please answer.
The candidates shall answer.

Worthy President:  You will raise your right hand, and keep it raised until I have given you the Obligation. I shall recite the Obligation. After I have concluded, if you are willing to accept the pledges, you will so affirm.
Should the Worthy President observe that any candidate has failed to raise his right hand, or prematurely lowers it, he shall again advise the candidate to keep his right hand raised.
 
 
Obligation
 
Before God, and on my honor, I promise that I will never make known to anyone the passwords and Rituals of this Order, except to Eagles in good standing, and then only if I am authorized to do so.
I promise never to aid or join an Aerie, or any organization of alleged Eagles, that is not approved by the Grand Aerie.
I will abide by and obey the laws, rules and regulations of the Grand Aerie.
I promise never to propose for admission into the Order a man whom I know to be unworthy; never to use the blackball unless I have conscientious reasons for so doing; and never to permit the religious opinions of an applicant, his nationality, or his membership in any other organization to influence my ballot.
I promise never to take unfair advantage of an Eagle in business matters, and never to let him suffer loss of any kind if I can prevent.
I promise to further, at all times, the patriotic, the humanitarian and the fraternal teachings of this Order.
I promise to try, steadfastly, to make my home the abiding place6f thoughts and acts that are wholesome and righteous.
I promise to give our Country the devoted loyalty of a patriot.
Before this Altar my attention is particularly directed to the following vows, and I give my pledge to observe them:
If I cannot speak well of an Eagle, I will not speak ill of him.
I promise at all times to respect the sanctity of his home and family.
I understand the meaning of these pledges and I ask my God and my Brothers to help me keep them.
I acknowledge that the wilful violation of any of them is just cause for expulsion from the Order
My friends if you accept these vows and are willing to give your solemn pledge to observe them, you will now repeat after me:
I do accept them and I will observe them, so help me God.
You may now lower your hand.
Each candidate must give this pledge or withdraw from the Aerie room.
The Worthy Chaplain shall leave his station and take the place of the Worthy President before the Altar. The Worthy President shall, while the Worthy Chaplain is approaching the Altar, return to his own station.
At this time, if possible, the lights shall be turned low, or dimmed.
Worthy Chaplain: Let us pray.
Our Father: We ask Thee to look with special favor upon these men who, with Thy sacred name on their lips, havc promised these things which will add to their own happiness. Let the solemn vows just taken be worthily kept. Let each year strengthen their loyalty to this obligation, so that they may ever become stronger links in the golden chain of a Brotherhood that seeks to do unto others as we would that others should do unto us. Amen.
All Members: Amen.
The following Ode must be sung, at every initiation, by the Aerie or by a soloist, drill team or whomsoever the Worthy President shall designate. Or, in lieu thereof, it may be recited by the Worthy President or some one or more persons by him designated.
 
 
Ode to the Candidates
 
Around you stand, hand touching hand,
Men who have come before
This Altar to be bound with you
In vows forevermore.
The man that’s stirred to speak a word
For an absent Brother’s name,
Will find that he can easily
Put the slanderer to shame.
In justice to yourself—be true
And help us in life’s fight,
Then if we do the same by you,
Life’s burdens will be light.
And if we try most earnestly
To do each other good,
We shall ring true from every view
Of this great Brotherhood.
The Worthy President shall seat the Aerie.
Worthy President: Worthy Conductor, take the candidates to the station of the Junior Past Worthy President.
The Worthy President shall be seated.
The Worthy Conductor, candidates, and attendants shall march slowly to each station and form in front of, and facing, the officer who is to give the lecture. The candidates in front, the attendants one pace behind the candidates, and the Worthy Conductor shall stand at the left of the candidates.
Whenever possible and convenient, a slow march may be played as the candidates are led from one station to another.
Worthy Conductor, stopping at the station of the Junior Past Worthy President: This is the station of Liberty.
The Junior Past Worthy President shall rise The transparency representing Liberty shall be illuminated and, at some time during the lecture, the attention of the candidates especially directed to it by the Junior Past Worthy President.
Junior Past Worthy President: Liberty! The history of mankind is written around this word. To its sacred cause the master minds of ages have dedicated the loftiest gems of oratory, and in its service men have reached the summit of human greatness. The battlefields where vast armies fell, seeking to extend some tyrant’s power, may, in the fullness of time, be unmarked, unheeded, and unknown; but the magic peal of Patrick Henry’s eloquence—”Give me Liberty or give me death”—will reverberate forever; and, filled with its inspiration, the humblest man finds, even in this day, the dignity and the courage to die, if there be need, like Nathan Hale, regretting that he had but one life to give for his country.
But the liberty of the nation is only the sum of our individual liberties. And the liberty of the individual is only a bit less sacred than is the liberty of the State. Liberty is not license! Liberty may be likened to a flower that the tears of women and the blood of men have nourished until its beauty is an inspiration and its fragrance a benediction. License is a mould that tarnishes the splendor of the loftiest manhood and breeds suffering and hatred. The spirit of liberty asks no more from a man than it would give to that man. The spirit of license exacts from a man what it would not willingly let him exact, in turn. You have no right to ask from me what you would not give to me; and I have no right to impose ideas and conditions on you, which, were I in the minority, I would not myself accept from you.
The courage to die in defense of one’s country is no whit more praiseworthy than the courage to live worthily for one’s country. And as you consecrate the fullness of the best that lies in you to our common Land, give gladly, because you value your liberty, the same right to every other man to think his thoughts, to live his life, to love his country, and to worship his God, as you ask for yourself.
The light in the transparency representing Liberty shall be turned out.
Junior Past Worthy President: Worthy Conductor, you will now take the candidates to the station of the Worthy Vice-President.
The Junior Past Worthy President shall be seated.
Worthy Conductor, stopping at the station of the Worthy Vice President: This is the station of Truth.
The Worthy Vice-President shall rise. The transparency representing Truth shall be illuminated, and at some time during the lecture the attention of the candidates especially directed to it by the Worthy Vice-President.
Worthy Vice-President: The interest shown by you during the charge delivered by our Junior Past Worthy President impresses me with the belief that the motives that prompted you to join this Fraternity are praiseworthy. He has told you of the sacred rights of liberty. But without truth, liberty could not long endure; for a man’s honor—and a nation’s— rests upon the integrity of a promise.
The chances of life may rob us of our possessions; sickness may lay feeble the sturdiest frame; circumstances may lead us to believe we are right in doing that which will bring on us the censure of our fellow men; but the confidence of friends will vanish only when our reputation for speaking the truth departs. In all dealings with your fellow men be careful what you promise. Let your word be of the kind that, once given, each of us shall have absolute confidence in its integrity. Think before you promise, and promise only what you intend to do.
The light in the transparency representing Truth shall be turned out.
Worthy Vice-President: Worthy Conductor, you will now take the candidates to the station of the Worthy Chaplain.
The Worthy Vice-President shall be seated.
Worthy Conductor, stopping at the station of the Worthy Chaplain: This is the station of Justice.
The Worthy Chaplain shall rise. The transparency representing Justice shall be illuminated and, at some time during the lecture, the attention of the candidates especially directed to it by the Worthy Chaplain.
Worthy Chaplain: One of the finest traits of a manly character is a sense of justice. If you have wronged a man in any way, you should remember that it is only a noble nature that frankly admits an error, and that seeks the earliest opportunity to make amends. When we ask you to be especially just in your treatment of your Brother Eagles, we mean to urge you to remember that their acts and opinions may be as worthy of consideration as are your own. If each one of us shows that spirit of fairness toward every other Eagle, we shall be united by ties so far-reaching and powerful in their influence that membership in this Fraternity will, more and more, be held a privilege.
Let your mind rest again on this part of the obligation that you have so lately taken: “If I cannot speak well of an Eagle, I will not speak ill of him.” Hold steadfastly to this resolution. It does not mean that we ask you to approve everything that a Brother may do; but, when you feel there is just cause for censure, go to the man himself and tell him of his failing—do not aid in exposing his weakness to the curiosity and contempt of others. By your actions, urge him to better efforts; do not discourage and embitter him by the attitude— “I am holier than thou”; for is there one among us without fault?
Be just, and give as much to each of us as you expect from each of us; do your part in adding to the sum of human happiness; and, after a worthy act, say to yourself, “Not for charity, but justice.”
The light in the transparency representing Justice shall be turned out.
Worthy Chaplain: Worthy Conductor, you will now take the candidates to the station of the Worthy President.
The Worthy Chaplain shall be seated.
Worthy Conductor, stopping at the station of the Worthy President: This is the station of Equality.
The Worthy President shall rise. The transparency representing Equality shall be illuminated and, at some time during the lecture, the attention of the candidates especially directed to it by the Worthy President.
Worthy President: In this Fraternity all men are equal.
Not equal in wealth or in education or in bodily strength, but equal in the right to state their opinions and have them treated with consideration; equal in the right to vote upon any subject that may come before the Aerie; equal in the right to receive aid from our common fund. Where there is equality of this kind, and where it is conscientiously observed, there will be discussions, there will be differences of opinion, but there will be no dissensions; for each of us has the same right as every other one—no more, no less—and the will of the majority, as shown by the ballot, must ever be accepted. Such equality opens wide the doors of friendship and of true fraternalism; for the ties that bind give equal rights and lay equal obligations upon each of us.
The light in the first transparency representing Equality shall be turned out.
Worthy President: Worthy Conductor, let us now show our Brothers a scene in which some day each must take his part in the exemplification of Equality.
The Worthy President or some member selected by him shall rise. The transparency illustrating the following lecture shall be illuminated. This transparency may be placed above, below, or at one side of the transparency representing Equality If an Aerie so desires, it may provide a more elaborate representation of the thoughts set forth in this lecture. The greatest freedom may be exercised in this arrangement, so long as it is sacred, instructive, and dignified.
Worthy President: The few years that you call life pass swiftly as the shooting of a star across the midnight sky. Your earthly hopes and strivings end at the grave. No matter with what honors life may clothe you, you must go naked to the Throne of God. At times your lot seems hard and the burden so heavy that you grow weary; but struggle on manfully, for, when you reach this goal, you shall enjoy eternal rest. Above your grave the fragrant winds of spring and the chill breath of winter will come and go. The warm glow of June-time sky and the gray veil of bleak December days will fall and fall again; and ever you will sleep in the restful quietness of the earth. Uncounted years will change your body into dust. Your very name will pass from the memory of man. But each of us must come to sleep with you. Wealth and poverty, pride and humility, greed and charity, alike must pass this way—but beyond is God!
This equality at the grave is the lesson that Death teaches, and the man who learns it early in life, early finds happiness in the knowledge.
At this time the light illuminating the transparency shall be turned out and the Aerie lights turned on.
All candidates shall stand during the following instructions.
Worthy President: My Brothers, for such you now are, please follow my instructions carefully.
If you wish to enter any Aerie room while the Aerie is in session, rap once on the inner door. The Inside Guard will raise the wicket or open the door. To him you will give your name, the name and number of your Aerie, the semi-annual password and present your official receipt. If you are qualified, the Inside Guard will admit you to the Aerie room.
Advance immediately toward the Altar. When you reach the Flag, stop, and give the salutation sign, then step to the Altar and give the salutation sign to the Worthy President, then quietly take a seat.
The salutation sign is made by placing your right hand over your heart, thumb and fingers joined. This sign is used when members rise address the Worthy President; when they reach the Altar to ballot on applications, and when crossing the room. The Worthy President acknowledges the salutation sign by a wave of his right hand.
If you wish to retire while the Aerie is in session, advance to the Altar and give the Worthy President the salutation sign. Then quietly leave the room.
The voting sign is made by raising the right hand, the palm outward, the thumb and fingers joined and extended. It is used on all occasions except when a secret ballot is required.
The Grand Honor is given when the Grand Worthy President, his representative, or some officer of the Grand Aerie visits the Local Aerie on official business. It is the same as the salutation sign, and is given by all officers and members.
When a Grand Aerie Officer is introduced to the Aerie, the Worthy President shall call the Aerie to its feet and request the Aerie to give the Grand Honor.
In response the Grand Officer takes one step forward and gives the salutation sign.
The Worthy President shall then seat the Aerie and direct the Worthy Conductor to escort the Grand Officer to a seat of prominence in the Aerie.
We have a password. It is changed every six months. The Worthy President communicates the word to all members in good standing. The present password is   
The password may be given in a whisper to each candidate or given aloud.
If, at any time, you wish to make known your membership to any other Eagle, present your official receipt showing that you have paid as provided by law. No other evidence of membership in good standing will be accepted.
I now declare you a member of ... Aerie Number ..., of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, and as such, entitled equally with every other member to share in its benefits and in its privileges. Above all else: Remember your Obligation!
The gavel is the symbol of authority. Two raps call the Aerie to order. (Give two raps). One rap calls the Aerie to its feet, or seats it when standing. (Give one rap). Worthy Conductor, place the Brothers so that they face the Aerie.
Officers and members of ... Aerie Number ..., Fraternal Order of Eagles, I take pleasure in presenting our new Brothers. The Aerie will greet them with
the salutation sign.
The members shall give the salutation sign.
The Worthy President shall seat the Aerie.
 
 
Closing Ceremony
 
The Worthy President shall remain standing throughout the closing ceremony.
Worthy President:  My Brothers, as we have completed the matters presented for our consideration, I shall, with your help, close the Aerie in form.
Worthy President: Worthy Chaplain, The Worthy Chaplain shall rise and give the salutation sign. you will give our closing prayer.
The Worthy Chaplain shall leave his station, advance to the Altar, and, facing the Worthy President, stand in front of the Bible.
While he is doing this, the Worthy President shall call up the Aerie.
Worthy Chaplain:
Our Father: We ask Thee to favor our Country; to guard our homes; to strengthen our friendships; and to help us live lives worthy of the principles of our Order. Amen.

All Members: Amen.
Worthy President: Junior Past Worthy President, you may approach the Altar.
The Junior Past Worthy President shall advance to the Altar, and, facing the Worthy President, shall stand in front of the Flag.
Worthy President: What is our closing precept?
Junior Past Worthy President: My Brothers:
Although the world may scoff and jest,
A life of Service is the best;
And happiness will always be
To him who serves humanity.
Worthy President: Worthy Vice-President, you may advance to the Altar.
The Worthy Vice-President shall advance to the Altar, and, facing the Worthy President, shall stand in front of the Eagle.
Worthy President: My Brothers: What motto have we made our own, to heed at all times among ourselves and, whenever possible, to urge it on the world at large?
The Junior Past Worthy President, the Worthy Chaplain and the Worthy Vice-President shall each stretch forth his right hand and touch the Bible with the tips of his fingers.
The officers at the Altar and all members shall respond by saying: “If I cannot speak well of an Eagle, I will not speak ill of him.”
The Altar shall be dismantled in the following manner. After the motto has been given, the Worthy Vice-President shall take the Eagle, the Worthy Chaplain shall take the Bible, and the Junior Past Worthy President shall take the Flag Each shall then turn, face his station, and walk slowly to it. When he reaches his station, he shall place that which he is carrying at his station in the same position it was prior to the opening of the meeting, and resume a standing position in his station. After this is done, the Worthy President shall make the closing announcement:
Worthy President: I now declare ... Aerie Number ... closed until next ... at ... p.m., unless convened earlier by notice to the members.
The Worthy President sounds the gavel.

 

flourish.gif (3111 bytes)

 

         

Museum Home Page     Phoenixmasonry Home Page

Copyrighted © 1999 - 2013   Phoenixmasonry, Inc.      The Fine Print