An English journalist observing the Battle of Bull Run wrote that
the odds of the combatants suffering death or serious injury was hardly worse
than that of those working on the railroad. Though the comment was probably
meant to be tongue in cheek, it did make a valid point; railroad work in the
1860's was quite dangerous and accidents leading to death and disability were
altogether too common. It was for this reason that the railroad workers embraced
the concept of the fraternal benefit society to provide themselves with death
and disability coverage. Given the hazardous nature of their job, it was the
only way many of them could obtain insurance.
There were a number of such societies formed. Shown here are
jewels from the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, the Grand International
Auxiliary to the BLE, the Order of Railroad Telegraphers, the Brotherhood of
Railroad Trainmen, the Lady's Auxiliary to the BRT, the Brotherhood of
Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen and the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen. The
jewel on the lower right emulating a pressure gauge is almost certainly railroad
though it is difficult to determine which order. It is marked A.R.R.A.B.M. and
Though the fate of most fraternal benefit societies was to become commercial
insurance companies, a few railroad orders evolved into labor unions. The
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers was not a part of this organization.
In 1969, the United Transportation Union was formed by the union of:
Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and
Enginemen, Order of Railway Conductors and Brakemen, Switchmen's Union of North
A special "Thank
You" to Bro. Tarno Coleman, PM, Oregon Vista 215
Lapel Pins of Railroad Brotherhoods
railroad brotherhoods were formed, they often used a quasi-Masonic lodge
structure, to include organizing themselves in Lodges, using a secret ritual of
initiation, recognition signs, passwords, and grips, and some even wore regalia
such as collarettes. They operated as fraternal societies that offered death
benefits, life insurance, and social activities, and often were temperance
societies. They usually only admitted white males into the ranks of their
brotherhoods, and were predominately White Anglo-Saxon Protestants born in the
United States of America.
Four” of the railroad brotherhoods were the:
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, founded on May 8, 1863 in Marshall,
Michigan, the Order of Railroad Conductors, founded on December 15, 1867 in
Amboy, Illinois, Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, founded on December 1, 1873
in Pt. Jervis, New York, and the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, founded on
September 23, 1883 in Oneonta, New York.
Membership card of
the Order of Railway Conductors (1888).
brotherhoods often functioned as a benefit and temperance organization, striving
for their members to remain sober, hardworking, dedicated, and loyal to the
railroads that employed them. They wished to be seen as an ally to management,
and some forbade their membership from taking part in any labor actions or
dispute, such as strikes. They also offered death benefits to their members,
which was very important when one studies how dangerous employment in the
railroad industry was in the 19th and early 20th
of a Brother of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen (1878).
The Brotherhood of
Locomotive Firemen operated as a secret
society, with a quasi-Masonic elaborate initiation ritual,
oaths, secret signs of recognition, and protocol for the conduct of lodge
meetings. Meetings were formally opened with a prayer conducted by the lodge chaplain and
were modest and subdued, emphasizing the sacred task of the organization and the
need for members to maintain appropriate decorum and professionalism in daily
life. In the early form of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen's initiation,
the initiate was seated in the darkened lodge room in front of a large backdrop
used as a screen, while wearing a "hoodwink" headgear with retractable opaque
lenses. The prospective member was instructed by the lodge chaplain as
to the benevolent purposes of the organization and the sacred duties of the
members thereof. Lodge members then joined in by collectively
reciting the four principles ensconced in the organization's motto:
"Protection, Charity, Sobriety, Industry.
At this point, a stereopticon began
to project a series of images on the screen, after each of which the lenses of
the hoodwink were briefly raised and the image was explained to the
initiate. First, a locomotive fireman leaving his family to go to work; then, a
train with its crew industriously fulfilling their assigned task. Next came an
image of a train wreck, followed by another of a funeral attended by members of
the brotherhood, paying their respects to the deceased. This was followed by an
image of a lodge representative relieving the grieving widow with a payment of
the organization's death indemnity. Having witnessed his own symbolic death, the
new candidate was thus made acutely aware both of the importance of his own
support of families of maimed or fallen brothers in their time of need as well
as the confidence that his own family would be provided for should he himself
fall to misfortune.
experience was memorable and effective in building lasting commitments to the
organization. Three decades after his own initiation into the Brotherhood of
Locomotive Firemen, Eugene
V. Debs recalled
the evening as a watershed in his life:
"A new purpose entered my life, a fresh force impelled me as I repeated the
obligation to serve the 'brotherhood,' and I left that meeting with a totally
different and far loftier ambition than I had ever known before."
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Membership record
Brother of Locomotive Firemen Membership record
Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen
At the time designated for the opening of the Lodge the President, or Acting
President will assume his station and will call the meeting to order by giving
three distinct raps with the gavel. Officers will assume their respective
stations and members their seats. Visiting members and candidates will retire to
the ante-room, except that the International President or his representative may
remain. The President will fil1 all vacancies by appointment. In the absence of
the President, Vice-President, Past President, International President, or his
Representative, the members shall select the General Chairman, or a member of
their lodge to act as President Pro Term. Officers who are selected to fill
vacancies will serve Pro-Term during the session, unless relieved by the arrival
of the duly elected officers.
Outer Guard, you will retire to the ante-room, close and lock the door, and
guard it until further orders.
Inner Guard, you will close the inner door and return to your station.
Warden, you will advance to the President’s station and qualify yourself to
examine the Brothers.
The Warden approaches the President’s station, places his left hand on
President’s right shoulder, and with the right hand gives the grip, which is
made by … and whispers the word in his left ear. The Warden will then examine
each Brother in turn, they qualifying in like manner, commencing at the right of
the President, passing around the Lodge, concluding his duties by examining the
Outer Guard, seeing that the Guards are at their posts and the doors securely
In the examination of the Lodge, should the Warden find an officer or member
without the word, he will address the President as follows: "Worthy President, I
find Brother … not qualified". The President will then inquire of the Financial
Secretary as to the Brother’s standing, and if he advises that the member is
entitled to the word, the Warden will be instructed to communicate it as
heretofore described. When the Warden has completed the examination, he will
return to his station and announce:
President, I find all members qualified to remain.
The President gives two raps with the gavel and all members will arise to their
feet and remain standing.
Chaplain, you will advance to the Altar and open the sacred Book, in which is
taught the beautiful lesson of Charity, Peace and Brotherly Love.
Ceremonies at the Altar may be dispensed with, excepting the opening of the
Bible. For those who may wish to introduce prayer, the following is offered:
us, Heavenly Father, that these our Brothers, assembled here in the name of our
Brotherhood, may labor in harmony; that all our doings may be acceptable in Thy
sight. Guide us in the path of duty and enlighten our minds with that
understanding of our laws so as to make us devoted to our Brotherhood. Remember
the families of our departed Brothers, and may we so prosper that at all times
we may respond to the call of Charity, and practice those virtues with which our
banner is inscribed, and when is ended may our reward be such as cometh to him
who doeth all things well.
At the conclusion of the Prayer by the Chaplain, he will return to his station.
Brothers, we are assembled to transact the business of our Lodge. Let peace and
harmony prevail. I now declare … Lodge No. … of the Brotherhood of Locomotive
Firemen and Enginemen open in form. Brother Inner Guard, you will notify the
Outer Guard that this Lodge is now open and ready to admit all qualified
members; ascertain and report if there are any visiting Brothers in waiting.
President then gives one rap with the gavel and seats the Lodge. Should there be
any visitors in waiting, the President will address the Warden as follows:
Warden, you will retire to the ante-room and examine such visitors as are in
waiting, accompany them to the Altar, and introduce them to the Lodge.
The Warden will retire in form, go to the ante-room, and be introduced by the
Outer Guard to all visitors, and will receive from them their grip, quarterly
pass and receipt for monthly assessments for the month in which the visit is
In the event of a visitor being without the quarterly pass, but having an
official receipt for the current month, the Warden will permit him to enter the
lodge and announce the fact to the President, who will at his convenience,
examine the receipt, and if found correct, will communicate the password,
In the event of there being two or more visitors, the Warden will receive and
examine them singly in the ante-room, and when all are examined and found
qualified, the Warden will give the proper alarm upon the inner door. The Inner
Guard will open the wicket and the Warden will announce:
of this Lodge, with duly qualified visiting Brother.
Inner Guard will announce to the President:
Inner Guard: Worthy
President, Warden of this Lodge with qualified visitor.
Inner Guard, admit the Warden with visitor.
The door will then be opened by the Inner Guard, President will give two raps
with the gavel, and all will arise and remain standing, Warden will enter with
visitor (or visitors), in a single file, and cross the lodge room in front of
the Vice-President’s station, so that in approaching the Altar all will be in
company front, When they reach the Altar the Warden will introduce them. After
being greeted by the President, the Warden will then escort them to seats.
President and Brothers, I have the honor to present at the altar of our
Brotherhood, Brother … of Lodge ….
I bid you welcome. I trust your visit will be one of pleasure as well as profit.
Please be seated.
President gives one rap with the gavel and all members will be seated, Regular
order of business will then be taken up.
Ceremonies of Initiation
Officers and members of Lodges, when conducting the ceremonies of an initiation,
are prohibited from using any appliance or device which will result in physical
injury or mental shock to a candidate.
Prior to the initiation of a Candidate, and before the Past President and
Financial Secretary retire to the ante-room for the purpose of examining the
Candidate, the President will ask the following:
Recording Secretary, have you the name of the Candidate (or Candidates) in
waiting, and has he been elected by our secret ballot?
Recording Secretary shall give the President the required information and hand
him the application for beneficiary certificate, if any, of the Candidate, or
Candidates, in waiting.
brothers, Mr. … is waiting for initiation. The Past President and Financial
Secretary will now retire to the ante-room, examine the Candidate (or
Candidates), collect such fees as are necessary and return with the Candidate
(or Candidates) provided examination is satisfactory.
The Past President and the Financial Secretary will retire and secure the
necessary information and fees.
Outer Guard: Mr.
…, I have the honor to introduce to you the Past President and Financial
Secretary of this Lodge who desire certain information of you, and the fees of
Past President: My
friend, were you ever rejected or expelled from any Lodge of the Brotherhood of
Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen? If so, which one?
Candidate, or Candidates, shall answer yes or no. If the answer be yes the Past
President will make such inquiries as are necessary to satisfy himself as to the
fitness of the Candidate.
Past President: Do
you seek membership in this Order of your own free will, and are you prepared to
take an obligation to cheerfully obey all the rules and regulations of the
Order, and to faithfully keep your vows?
Candidate, or Candidates, answer yes or no. The Financial Secretary will collect
such fees as are required by the Lodge before the initiation, and return to the
Lodge with the Past President and Candidate, being admitted by the Inner Guard
by an unusual alarm. The Inner Guard reporting the return of the Past President
and Financial Secretary as follows:
Inner Guard: Worthy
President, the Past President and Financial Secretary of this Lodge, with the
Candidate (or Candidates).
Inner Guard opens the door and permits the Past President and Financial
Secretary with the Candidate to enter the Lodge. They will approach the Altar in
company front, and report as follows:
Past President: Worthy
President, I have examined Mr. … and I am satisfied he is worthy of membership.
If the Past President is not satisfied with the qualifications of the Candidate,
he will return to the Lodge and report accordingly.
Financial Secretary: Worthy
President, the initiation fees have been collected.
Past President: You
now stand before the Altar of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and
Enginemen. There is an obligation, severe in its solemnity, and as binding as
the laws of God to man, which you are required to take before you can be
accepted into membership. You will be asked to pledge your full support and
strength to this organization, and adhere firmly to its laws, rules and
regulations; in none of which will you be required to violate the duties which
you owe to either your God, your family, your country or yourself. With this
assurance are you still desirous of proceeding farther?
Candidate, or Candidates, will answer.
Past President: To
impress upon you the seriousness of our obligations, the sacredness of the
relations which exist between members, and the penalties for a disregard or
violation of these obligations or relations, your attention is especially
directed to the law of the Brotherhood concerning slander, which provides that
any officer or member who shall write or cause to be written, circulate or cause
to be circulated, any false or slanderous letter or document of any kind, or
circulate or cause to be circulated any false or slanderous report or statement
concerning the policy of this organization, or any of its officers or members,
or who, in allegiance to any other organization, shall perform or cause to be
performed any act derogatory to the interests of this organization, shall, upon
conviction thereof be expelled from all the benefits and privileges of the
Brotherhood, including participation in the Insurance Departments.
At the conclusion of the charge, the Past President will address the President
Past President: Worthy
President, I have the pleasure to present at the Altar of our Brotherhood Mr. …,
who is prepared to obligate himself in accordance with our solemn rites.
At this point the President will give two raps with the gavel, officers and
members will arise; the President and Chaplain approaching the Altar; the
President facing the Candidate; the Chaplain standing at left of Altar. Other
officers and members will quietly advance and form a complete circle around the
Altar by clasping hands, surrounding the President, Past President, Chaplain and
Candidate, excepting the Vice-President. Inner and Outer Guards, who will remain
at their respective stations.
friend, you will now listen to the advice of our Worthy Chaplain.
friend, as all good workers have been apprentices to their trade, so are you now
an apprentice in our Order, learning those first lessons that are the ground
work of all success in life. Our principal object is to promote the welfare of
our brothers and their families in sickness and health. In order to carry out
these benevolent objects, the assessments of each member must be promptly paid;
and yours with the rest. Law must govern every society, and law must govern us;
to this law you must submit, or be false to your oath. Not only do we aim to be
benevolent, but we aim to teach the great lesson of sobriety. Be honorable in
your dealings, faithful at your post, and I can assure you, my friend, our Order
will be proud to number you among its members. Remember, the motto of our Order
is ‘Protection, Charity, Sobriety and Industry.’
received instructions as to your duties, I now admonish you to reflect and
answer for yourself before these witnesses if you still desire membership in
Candidate, or Candidates, answer.
Past President, you will have the Candidate stand erect, place his left hand
over his heart and raise his right hand, open palm outward, to level of his
When the Candidate is in proper position the Past President will then announce:
Worthy President, the Candidate stands in proper form and awaits your pleasure.
The President will then proceed to administer the following obligation:
will now pronounce your full name, and repeat in a clear and audible voice the
following obligation: I, …, of my own free will, before God and my fellow man,
solemnly promise and vow that I will never, by word or deed, betray any of the
rites or mysterious ceremonies of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and
Enginemen, as here revealed to me. I will faithfully keep inviolate my solemn
oath of membership, and at all times and under all circumstances discharge every
duty devolving upon me as a member. I will obey the Constitution and By-Laws and
always recognize the authority vested in the officers of this Lodge and the
Grand Lodge. I will never incite rebellion, or antagonize the brothers on
account of religion or nationality, but at all times put forth every effort to
maintain peace, harmony and brotherly love. I will never speak ill of my
brother, or in any manner knowingly do him an injury. I will never write, paint,
cut, carve, hew or engrave the secret pass, grip, signs, or any of the mystic
ceremonies, so that they may become revealed to an impostor, nor permit the same
to be done by another if in my power to prevent. Should I violate any part of
this, my solemn obligation, may I be driven from among the tried and true, and
be pointed out with the finger of scorn as a man devoid of principle and honor.
President then takes Candidate by the right hand and says:
Brother, for by that name I am now privileged to Call you, having been received
and obligated by the most solemn vows, I greet you as a member of … Lodge No. ….
Vice-President gives one rap with the gavel at the conclusion of the declaration
of membership to the Candidate, or Candidates, by the President, when entire
lodge will quietly return to their seats, and officers to their stations, except
the Past President, who will escort the newly admitted member, oz members, to
the President’s station to be instructed in the secret work.
Exemplification of the secret work by the President
Entering a Lodge
…, you will now give your strict attention while I instruct you in the Secret
Work of this Order. Desiring to enter a Lodge of the Brotherhood of Locomotive
Firemen and Enginemen, you will give any alarm at the outer door that will
attract the attention of the Outer Guard, who will open the wicket and inquire:
‘Who demands admission?’ You will then give him your name, and say: ‘Brotherhood
of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen, Lodge No. ….’ The door will then be opened
by the Outer Guard and you will be permitted to enter the anteroom. You will,
then (unless the Lodge is performing the opening ceremony) advance to the inner
door and give raps which are as follows: three distinct raps.
"The Inner Guard will report to the Vice-President an alarm. The Vice-President
will say, ‘Attend the alarm and report.’ The Inner Guard will then give three
distinct raps and upon the wicket being opened by the Inner Guard, he will
inquire: ‘Who demands admission?’ You will reply by giving your name, the name
and number of your Lodge, and in a low whisper the Secret Word. Having
communicated the word to the Inner Guard, the wicket will be closed, and the
Inner Guard will report to the Vice-President as follows: ‘Worthy
Vice-President, it is Brother … of … Lodge No. ... and he is correct in the
word.’ The Vice-President will reply: ‘Permit him to enter.’ The Inner Guard
will then open the door, and you will enter the Lodge and quietly take your
The Secret Word is a pass which gains you entrance into the Lodge, and which
changes quarterly on the first day of January, April, July and October. The word
for this quarter is: … This word can only be given to you by a Grand Lodge
Officer, the President, or the Financial Secretary of your Lodge, or the
President or the Financial Secretary of a Sister Lodge, when you present an
order for the Secret Word, or by the Warden at the examination of the Lodge, and
under instructions of the President. Under no circumstances will you communicate
this word except to the Warden of your Lodge or of a Sister Lodge which you may
be visiting, or to the Inner Guard upon entering this lodge or a Sister Lodge,
unless you have been specially deputized by the President of your Lodge to
communicate the pass to another. This word you will at all times carefully
guard, for should you in any manner divulge it, expulsion from the Order under
the most trying circumstances will be the penalty.
The Brotherhood has adopted a Grip to be used by our members in the Lodge room,
and in the ante-room by the Warden when qualifying members, and is made as
follows: you will grasp the two first fingers of the Warden’s right hand with
your two first fingers, allowing your thumb to touch the ends of your fingers
around the Warden’s fingers, at the same time placing the left hand upon each
others shoulder, which signifies: we are linked together.
Retiring from the Lodge
Desiring to, retire from the Lodge while in session, you will arise from your
seat and say: ‘Worthy President, may I retire?’ If your request is granted you
will proceed to and in front of the Altar, facing the President’s station, and
give the Retiring Sign, which is made as follows:
Right hand extended straight outward towards the top of the Altar, fingers
closed, palm upwards, which signifies, ‘No malice do I hold;’ then opening the
hand, palm still upwards, which signifies, ‘None do I carry with me;’ then
carrying hand to and over the heart, which signifies, ‘My secrets I shall keep.’
The President will respond by placing his right hand over his heart.
Whereupon you will advance in a direct line to the station of the Vice-President
and from there to the inner door. The Inner Guard will then open the door and
permit you to retire to the ante-room. When you are prepared to depart the Outer
Guard will open the outer door and allow you to go about your business.
Visiting a Sister Lodge
Desiring to visit a Sister Lodge, should you be present before the opening of
the Lodge and in the Lodge room, upon hearing three raps of the gavel by the
President, you will immediately retire to the outside anteroom and there remain
until the Warden of the Lodge is introduced to you by the Outer Guard for
examination. Should you not arrive before the Lodge opens you will give any
alarm at the outer door, and upon the wicket being opened by the Outer Guard,
you will give your name and say, ‘Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and
Enginemen, Lodge No. …’, which will gain your admission into the ante-room, and
the Outer Guard will convey the information of your presence as a visitor to the
Inner Guard. When the Warden of the Lodge enters the ante-room, and you have
been introduced to him by the Outer Guard, the Warden will say to you: ‘Brother
…, you will qualify for admission.’ You will then hand the Warden your receipt
for examination, showing your standing for the month in which you are visiting
the Lodge, and give the Warden your right hand and with it the Grip. With the
Grip you will whisper the Word in his left ear. Having necessary receipt, and
being correct in the Word and Grip, the Warden will escort you to the inner
door, where he (the Warden) will give the usual alarm, and upon the wicket being
opened by the Inner Guard, he will announce, ‘The Warden of this Lodge with
visiting Brother (or Brothers), duly qualified.’ Upon the door being opened the
Warden will escort you to the Altar in the usual manner, and will introduce you.
After being greeted by the President, the Warden will direct you to a seat.
Should you desire to visit a Sister Lodge and find yourself without the Word,
you can only gain admittance by having a Receipt for your assessments for the
month in which you are visiting. In such cases the Warden will permit you to
enter the Lodge room where the fact of your being without the word will be
announced to the President who will direct the Warden to communicate the Word to
The Raps of the Gavel
The Gavel is used by the President of the Lodge to preserve order, and is the
badge of authority to be recognized at all times by officers and members alike.
The sound of the Gavel is just as imperative and potent as is the voice of the
President. Members will respond to the raps of the Gavel. Three raps of the
Gavel call the Lodge to order, and the officers to their stations, preparatory
to the opening of a session of a Lodge. Two raps of the Gavel call the Lodge to
their feet. One rap of the Gavel seats the Lodge. Any other raps of the Gavel
are known as false alarms.
As the President raps the members present will properly respond.
Voting Sign of the Order
The Voting Sign of the Order is made by lifting the right hand, open, palm
outward; and you are required to vote upon every question that arises in your
Lodge unless excused by the President of the Lodge.
The Brotherhood has adopted for the use of its members a card known as a
Traveling Card. This is a Traveling Card shows
will bear the exact date upon which it was issued, the name and number of your
Lodge, the President’s name and the Financial Secretary’s name; also the
signature of the General Secretary and Treasurer, the Local Lodge Seal and the
Grand Lodge Seal. The number of your Lodge will be perforated through the top of
the Card. Upon the back of the Card will appear the length of time for which the
Card is issued, where you are employed, if upon a railroad, and what one, and
the Card shall bear your signature in your own handwriting; also a description
of the bearer, and upon the margin of the Card will be the months and days. The
letter ‘F’ opposite the description of the bearer, and the expiration of the
Card, will be punched with Official Punch. When traveling, if desirous of
introducing yourself through this Card you will address the party as follows:
‘Good morning’ or ‘Good evening,’ as the case may be. The party whom you
approach, if he is a member, will say ‘Good morning,’ or ‘Good evening,’ as the
case may be. The holder of the Card will then say: ‘Where have I met before.’
The party addressed, if a member of the Order, will say: ‘You should know.’
The holder of the Card will say: "Am I mistaken.’
The party addressed will say: ‘Key’.
The holder of the Card will give number of letters in quarterly word.
Then the party addressed will give last letter of quarterly word.
The holder of the Card will then give first letter of quarterly word; at the
same time present receipt for the current month together with traveling card,
saying: ‘examine my card an receipt.’
The Card or receipt shall not be produced until both have made themselves known
to each other as members of the Brotherhood, by the interchange of the Secret
Work, when the Card and receipt will be presented for identification.
I desire you to make yourself familiar with the use of this Card, so that if a
stranger should call upon you bearing a Card, you can prove him a member, if
such he be. You should not recognize a person having a Traveling Card or receipt
unless the foregoing secret work has been gone through with to satisfy yourself
the person having Card and receipt is a member in good standing. In order to
obtain a Traveling Card, under any circumstances, you
must be in good standing. In the event of you having a Card in your possession,
and it having expired by limitation, it must be returned to the Financial
Secretary of your Lodge before another can be issued.
My Brother, you have been instructed in the Secret Work of our Order. I now
present you with a copy of our Constitution and By-Laws, which you should study
thoroughly, so you will fully understand what our Order expects of you. I now
grant a few moments intermission, whereby the brothers will have the pleasure of
greeting you as a member.
Lodge will be called to order at the expiration of the intermission.
Past President, you and the newly admitted member (or members) will retire to
the ante-room in form, and you will assist him in working his way into the
NOTE: In conferring this lesson upon the candidate, make it brief but
impressive; prohibit any member from using profane or abusive language or the
word SCAB, or any other phrase which will mar the intent of the lesson taught;
this is imperative.
During the absence of the Past President and Candidate, or Candidates, the
President will appoint two members to act as Prosecutors, and two members to act
as Defenders for the Candidate, should he sign, or attempt to sign the Register
Test. it is understood that not more than one Candidate will be taken through
this part of the ceremony at one time. During this part of the ceremony the
floor will be kept clear from all obstructions, as it is intended to make this
ceremony impressive on the mind of the Candidate, and the strictest order must
When Past President and Candidate work their way into the Lodge they will
approach the Altar and remain standing while the President says:
…, you will be required upon bended knees at our Altar, amid the silence of our
Lodge, to fill out this blank, President
hands blank to Warden who will take it to the Candidate and
if you subscribe to all that is required thereon, you will be entitled to a seat
in the Lodge. Worthy Past President and Warden you will assist the brother in
filling out the blank.
Should the Candidate sign, or attempt to sign, the Quarterly Pass, the Past
President will seize and hold him, while the Warden will seize the blank, and
hold it until the President gives three raps of the gavel, and says;
is the cause of this disturbance?
President, this man has attempted to sign away the Quarterly Pass.
Warden takes the blank to the President.
Past President: Worthy
President, perhaps he can justify his action.
have you any explanation to make that will justify your action?
Candidate makes his explanation.
are you satisfied with this explanation?
At this Point the Prosecutor will arise and say:
Prosecutor will then reprimand the Candidate in such language as will be
appropriate for the occasion. When the Prosecutor resumes his seat one of the
Defenders will arise and say:
Defender will use such language as is appropriate In defense of Candidate. The
Prosecutors will then be heard, and the last Defender will conclude, closing his
remarks with a motion that the Candidate be forgiven for his offense and
restored to good standing in the Lodge. If a motion is adopted the President
will summon the Candidate before him.
Brother, our Lodge has shown you that we practice charity in its broadest sense
by extending to you forgiveness, even though you had violated your obligation. I
therefore extend to you the warm right hand of the Brotherhood and welcome you
to our fold with all my heart.
President grasps him by the right hand and shakes it cordially.
Past President, you will now escort our newly admitted Brother to his seat.
To be introduced, if a Lodge so desires, the first time the Candidate is
presented at the Altar. If introduced it should be done just alter Financial
Secretary reports that fees have been collected. A screen and lights should be
previously arranged. The lecture should be committed to memory and delivered by
the Chaplain, or some one especially selected by the President. The operator
should shift the scenes to fit the language of the lecture. The strictest order
must be maintained by members during this part of the ceremony, as it is
intended to be impressive.
NOTE: It is optional with the Lodge whether or not they deliver the following
emblematic Lecture, provided they have a lantern and slides for that purpose.
friend, the purposes for which the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and
Enginemen was organized were to protect its members from injustice; to bestow
upon them and their loved ones charitable donations that will make life’s burden
lighter at a time when death has robbed the helpless and afflicted of all means
of support. The Brotherhood teaches them that a duty they owe their families and
themselves is not to allow a passion for intoxicating liquor to lead them to
poverty and degradation. It also teaches that a man to earn a reputable position
in life must be industrious. It was upon these principles that the Brotherhood
of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen was founded and for these principles the
Brotherhood has labored for many years. Brothers, what is the Motto of our
All members present will slowly and distinctly pronounce in concert the Motto
--- Charity --- Sobriety --- Industry.
friend, I will now illustrate to you incidents that daily occur in the life of
The ‘Home scene’ is produced on the screen and the hoodwink lifted from the eyes
of the Candidate.
now see before you an Engineman in the prime of his manhood bidding farewell to
all that is dear on earth, his loving wife and innocent, prattling babes. It was
ordained by the Creator that a knowledge of impending danger should be withheld,
that our happy moments should not be marred by vision of coming adversity. This
man affectionately bids adieu to his loved ones, and with light and joyous heart
sees for the last time the little cottage, the pride of his being, the scene of
his happiest days.
Scene changes, showing a roundhouse.
now approaches the field of his everyday labor while earning for himself and
family those necessaries and little luxuries that it is his pride to see his
family enjoy. Here is the busy engine-house. Men getting engines ready for the
road; others returning to their homes after a day of honest toil; and yet others
preparing to go out on trips from which some may never return except as a
mangled and lifeless form.
Scene changes, showing a railway train.
train laden with precious lives speeds on its journey. The engineer and fireman,
loyal to the trust imposed upon them, having the confidence of those in their
keeping, faithfully perform their duty. Faster and faster speeds the massive
engine; dashing through village, whirling by the riverside, out upon the broad
prairies, through valleys, over hills and through fields of yellow grain.
Scene changes, showing the wreck.
veil which covers the face of futurity Is woven by the hand of mercy.
No man knows what the morrow will bring forth. Death comes like a thief in the
night and steals away that which only the Creator can return.
Scene changes, showing the funeral.
last debt that we can pay our fellow man is to consign him to his grave, to
tenderly and affectionately lay him to eternal rest. We here see all that is
mortal of our departed brother pausing on the brink of the grave. A heart-broken
mother, an aged father, a despairing widow, weeping orphans here fix their eyes
for the last time on the quiet, pale face of him that but yesterday was in the
vigor of life.
It is a mission of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen to
perform these last sad rites, to comfort the bereaved parent, to console the
widow and orphan.
Scene changes, showing the paying of the claim.
must be a bright ray of hope; a moment of happiness, though in the presence of
death, when the thought flashes on the mind of a dying man that he has provided
sustenance for those whom he is leaving behind. What must be the agonizing
thought of a man on the verge of eternity when he realizes that he has done
naught to protect his loved ones from hunger and cold, has carelessly allowed to
pass by opportunities to provide for their future welfare, and has left them to
the charity of a heartless world. It is here we see the Brotherhood of
Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen perform its sacred mission. The weeping widow
is ours to solace. The defenseless orphan is ours to protect and keep. It is at
this moment that the Brotherhood pays its greatest obligation by securing to the
widow and orphans the means by which a home may be purchased and the orphans
Scene changes. showing the three graces, Faith, Hope and Charity.
now abideth Faith, Hope, and Charity, these three; but the greatest of these is
Scene changes, showing the Grand Lodge.
charitable organization, like all others, must be governed by law and order.
Here is illustrated the law-making body of our Brotherhood. Each and every
member is entitled to representation in the Grand Lodge and it is his sworn duty
to obey the rules and regulations emanating from this assemblage. Without this
allegiance to the Constitution our Brotherhood would soon cease to exist, and
without our Brotherhood where will we turn for that protection that it alone can
give. My friend, you will now look upon the symbols of our Motto: Protection ---
Charity --- Sobriety Industry.
As the Chaplain pronounces each word the appropriate symbol is produced upon the
Chaplain should allow the Candidate sufficient time to view each symbol before
Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen is an International
organization. We know no political or geographical lines in our jurisdiction. We
recognize no political or religious creed. We are a band of brothers, united for
protection under the banners of the United States, Canada and Mexico.
As the Chaplain says this the coats of arms of the above named countries are
produced on the screen.
years ago a man who has since passed away conceived the idea of this
Brotherhood. By his efforts it was made possible that you should stand beneath
its protecting influence. That man was our first Grand Master, Joshua A. Leach,
to whose memory we gladly extend the affections of our grateful hearts.
As the Chaplain pronounces the name of Brother Leach his portrait is produced on
the screen. The light from the stereopticon is then entirely concealed and the
friend, you have thus looked upon the scenes incidental to the life of an
engineman. You have witnessed the grand work of the Brotherhood of Locomotive
Firemen and Enginemen, and I hope its influence will ever be impressed upon your
memory. You will now be initiated into the deeper mysteries of the Order.
When the business of the Lodge is concluded, the President will arise and say:
our labors being concluded, we will close. Brother Chaplain, you will attend at
The President will give two raps with the gavel and all members will arise and
the Chaplain will advance to the Altar facing the President and offer the
Heavenly Father, bless, we beseech Thee, the labors of this meeting. May we all
profit thereby. May a spirit of peace, harmony and good will prevail among all
the brothers, and may we go forth to our duties upon the rail with renewed
courage. Protect us from all danger, and when life’s work is ended, receive us
into Thine everlasting kingdom. Amen.
At the end of the prayer. Chaplain will close the Bible and return to his
station. Prayer may be dispensed with at the discretion of the Lodge. In such
cases the Chaplain will close the Bible.
Warden, you will collect the rituals and Lodge property, and return them to my
The President will take charge of the rituals and see that they are placed under
lock and key for safe keeping.
the business of this meeting being concluded, we will now close, until our next
regular meeting, unless a special meeting shall be deemed necessary; on either
occasion I hope to see a full attendance. You will give the Retiring Sign.
Members in giving sign at the close of Lodge, will repeat in one voice with the
President the following explanation of the retiring Sign: ‘No
malice do I hold;’ ‘None do I carry with me;’ ‘My secrets I shall keep.’
you will open the doors and permit the members to retire, as the Lodge is now
Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen
President, *: Brothers,
it is my intention to open this Lodge of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen
for the purpose of transacting all business and work which may properly be
brought before it. Brothers Inner and Outer Guards, you will see that our
portals are closed.
Inner Guard: Brother
President, our portals are closed.
resume your stations.
Brother Conductor, you will give me the quarterly pass in a whisper, and proceed
to collect the same from all present, reporting those who are not in possession. Should
the Conductor find any member of the lodge present without the pass, he shall
immediately report to the President, who will, if the brother Is found to be in
good standing, instruct the Conductor to Invest him with the pass. Should there
be a visiting member present without the pass, he shall be instructed by the
President, if qualified to receive the same. If the number of members present
warrants, in order to expedite the opening, the President can appoint the Warden
to assist in taking up the pass on one side of the hail and when finished. the
warden will report to the Conductor, who will report to the President.
President, all present have the pass.
President, ***: Officers
and members of … Lodge No: …, the duties of my office require me to preside at
all meetings of this Lodge; to require a strict compliance with the Constitution
and General Rules, and to judge impartially of every transaction that may come
before the Lodge. I therefore desire that each officer will attend to his
duties, and that every brother will remember not only the purpose for which we
have convened, but also the obligation he has taken, that the business of this
Lodge may be conducted in a manner looking to the best interests of the
Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen.
each head bow with reverence to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe while the
Chaplain invokes a divine blessing.
holy and glorious Lord God, the great Ruler of the Universe, the giver of all
good gifts and graces, Thou has promised that where two or three are gathered
together in Thy name Thou will be in their midst and bless them. In Thy name we
have assembled, and in Thy name we desire to proceed in all our doings. Grant
that the sublime principles of the Trainmen’s Brotherhood may so subdue every
discordant passion within us, so harmonize and enrich our hearts with Thine own
love and goodness, that the Lodge at this time may humbly reflect that order and
beauty which reigns forever before Thy throne. Amen.
By the Lodge: Amen.
Members give countersign together. Answered hy President giving answer to
now declare … Lodge No. … open for the transaction of all business and work
which may be properly brought before it. Sectarian discussions are strictly
President, *: Brother
Inner Guard, you will notify the Outer Guard that the Lodge has been duly
The Outer Guard requests brothers in the ante-room to enter the Lodge and after
all hare entered, takes a seat in Lodge room within easy reach of the outer
In case of the death of a member since the last regular meeting of the lodge,
the chaplain will drape the charter and the members will rise and observe one
minute of silence in respect of the departed Brother. The charter should remain
draped for a period of 50 days.
Should a special meeting be held, the President will here read the call, or
state for what purpose the meeting is called, and no husiness other than that
stated in the call shall be considered. The minutes of the special meeting meat
state for what purpose it was called.
Conductor, you will retire to the ante-room and ascertain if there is a
candidate in waiting for initiation.
Conductor retires, and if candidate is waiting, returns and reports:
President, I find Mr. … in waiting in the ante-room.
Secretary, has Mr. … been duly elected to become a member of this Lodge, and has
this Lodge received notice of his application having been approved by the Grand
Lodge, and is this date within the time specified.
Secretary answers; and if candidate is duly qualified, the President will say:
Past President, Treasurer and Conductor, you will retire at once to the
ante-room, where you will find Mr. …. Ascertain if he is properly qualified for
admission into this Brotherhood, and collect the proper fee.
The Past President, Treasurer and Conductor will retire. During the examination
of the candidate no one will be admitted to the anteroom.
The Past President will address the candidate as follows:
Past President: Raise
your right hand. Mr. …, do you solemnly promise to give truthful answers to all
questions I may ask you concerning your qualification for admission to
membership in the Brotherhood?
Do you believe in the existence of a Supreme Ruler of the Universe?
Are you a member or do you subscribe to the principles of a subversive group or
Do you seek admission of your own free will?
Have you ever taken the place vacated by any person or persons out on strike
during the pendency of such strike?
Have you ever refused to obey the will of the regularly constituted authority
representing your fellow employes and remained at work during a legal strike?
With the assurance on my part that nothing in your membership, if admitted, will
conflict with your civil or religious liberty or your duty to your employer, are
you willing to take an obligation agreeing to support and abide by the
Constitution, General Rules and Ritual of The Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen?
Past President: Mr:
…, you will now pay to the Treasurer the balance of your admission fee, which is
$ … State amount.
After the candidate has been obligated and fee collected, the Treasurer will
return to the Lodge-room and report. In case the questions are not answered
satisfactorily, the Treasurer shall report that tact to the lodge, who shall
then determine what disposition shall be made of the candidate. Past President
remains in the ante-room and assists Conductor in preparing candidate. The
Conductor shall see that he removes his hat, coat and vest, and securely
President, the candidate has answered all questions satisfactorily, has been
obligated, and the required amount of money has been collected.
After the candidate has been prepared the Conductor will advance to the inner
portal and give an alarm; the Inner Guard will open the door, and the Past
President standing at the door, will address the President as follows:
Past President: Brother
President, Mr. … is ready for admittance; he has been obligated to secrecy and
is prepared for the initiation ceremony.
Vice President, are there any reasons why Mr. should not at this time be
Vice President: Brother
President, there are none.
him beware, if his object is that of curiosity, or if he is an imposter! For, if
such, we well know how to punish, and will place upon him a brand known and
detected by all of our members. If he is prepared for this grave responsibility
let him enter.
The Conductor conducts the candidate in front of altar facing the President,
where he should be left alone for at least one minute, during which time
profound silence should be kept. Then Conductor repeats following lecture:
in darkness, deserted by friends, robbed of liberty, a prisoner a1 the shrine of
this Brotherhood. As darkness obscures the I terrible dangers that surround you,
even so does ignorance separate you from a knowledge of yourself and duty to
mankind. There are many near you who have escaped The dangers which beset you,
and are able and willing to assist you if you are willing to take the same
obligation they have taken.
Are you willing?
President, Mr. …, a worthy Trainman, has thus far complied with our requirements
and signified his willingness to take our obligation.
Conductor, the candidate will now be placed in position to receive our
Kneel on your knees; place your right hand on your left breast, covering your
heart; your left hand on the Bible before you.
President, ***: Brothers,
you will form a living chain around our altar.
President advances to altar; members form a living chain around the altar by
clasping hands, leaving President, Conductor and candidate inside the circle. In
order to administer the obligation so as to give it the best meaning to the
candidate, the President should give no more at a time than is contained between
the marks in each sentence (—), and should not give the next seetion until the
candidate has repeated in full the preceding one.)
your thoughts be seriously on this ob]igation whi]e you repeat it after me: I,
(your name), of my own free will and accord—in the presence of Almighty God and
this Lodge—do hereby and hereon—solemnly promise and swear or affirm—that I will
keep secret—from all persons—except such as I shall prove to be—Brother Trainmen
in good standing—all signs—passwords—and other matters that are to be kept
secret—to the end of my natural life—even though my connection—with this
Brotherhood—should cease before that time. Nor will I—under any
circumstances—write—print —indite —or in any way—make any impression or
design—that would convey any idea—of the secret work of this Order—unless
legally authorized to do so—by the Grand Lodge. I will strictly adhere to—and be
governed—by the Constitution— General Rules—and By-Laws—of this Subordinate
Lodge—and of the Grand Lodge—I will not cheat—or defraud a Lodge—or a member of
this Brotherhood—knowingly—nor will I see them wronged by others—if in my power
to prevent—and will aid and assist all worthy Brothers—as far as I consistently
To all this—I most solemnly and sincerely swear—with a resolute determination to
keep as sworn—binding myself under this penalty—to become an outcast from
society—an object of contempt and reproach—my name stricken from the rolls—that
there might be no record—among Brother Trainmen—of so miserable a scoundrel—as I
would be—should I ever violate this obligation.
So help me God—and keep me steadfast—in due performance of the same.
The memhers forming the circle will here say:
By All Members: We
will help you keep this obligation.
have accepted a most sacred obligation and is it your desire to be further
Conductor whispers to candidate to say "Yes," and after candidate has repeated
it, the Conductor removes the hoodwink, and the President says:
as you are by a living chain of members of this Brotherhood, bound together by
ties that only death can sever, I charge you to so conduct your future life that
this Brotherhood may never cause to regret your acceptance of this obligation.
Members breaking the chain will point to the candidate and say:
By All Members: Remember
Members take seats and Conductor assists candidate to arise.
Conductor, you will now present the candidate to the President, who will
instruct him in the secret work of our Brotherhood.
proven yourse]f worthy, I will now proceed to instruct you in the secret work of
our Brotherhood. To gain admission to this Lodge while in session, you will, on
approaching the outer door, give … to call the attention of the Outer Guard, who
will open the wicket. To him you will give, in a whisper, this password Then
approach the inner door and give …. This alarm should only be given loud enough
to attract the attention of the Inner Guard.
The Inner Guard will present himself at the wicket, and to him you will give
your name and number of your Lodge, which in our case is …, and, in a whisper,
this pass …. This is the quarterly pass; it is changed every three months. The
Inner Guard will report you to the Vice President, and if found to be correct he
will instruct the Guard to admit you. Should you be without the pass, the Inner
Guard will report that fact to the President, who will ascertain if you are in
good standing. If found correct, he will instruct the Guard to admit you. On
entering Lodge-room, pass to Vice-President’s station, face that officer, then
face about and advance to the altar and address the President with the
countersign, which is made in this manner …, and is interpreted thus …. If given
correctly it will be answered by the President in this manner …. This signifies
…. Then you are at liberty to take a seat. On every question which engages the
attention of this Lodge you will, when present, be compelled to vote, unless
excused by a vote of the Lodge. The voting sign is made thus …. Should you wish
to retire before the Lodge is closed, you will, after receiving the President’s
permission, pass to the altar, give the counter-sign, and when answered by the
President, retire. Whenever it may become absolutely necessary to know a member
of our Brotherhood, to assure yourself of his membership, speak these
challenging words …. Hearing them a brother will answer …, which is termed the
sign of recognition. If properly answered, the brother who challenged will
approach and shake hands.
Each member shou]d be compelled to show an official receipt for the current
We have a sign of warning, given thus …, to be used when it is apparent that a
brother should be cautioned of some impending trouble, or when a brother is
found acting indiscreetly, or talking in a manner that might disclose the work
of the Order to outsiders. Should you be so situated that you may be heard and
not seen, you will say …. The distress words are … and are to be used whenever
beset by danger or overtaken by misfortune. Any brother hearing them is bound to
answer promptly …, and offer what assistance he consistently can. This completes
the instructions in the secret work. But let me charge you of another important
duty. Remember that if you are delinquent in the payment of dues and assessments
you forfeit the privileges of the Brotherhood as a protective association. Pay
them to the Treasurer before the first of each month, and you will then gain all
benefits and help to provide for the loved ones we are banded together to
assist. Remember this and keep it, as you promised, inviolate, together with
every other transaction of this Lodge, at this time and forever. The motto of
our Brotherhood is "Benevolence, Sobriety and Industry."
Benevolence is that good will toward all men which prompts us to lift up a
fallen brother and assist him to reform. It marks a disposition made up of a
choice and desire for the happiness of others. Sobriety—it is a great virtue to
be sober of thought, of speech, and of action. The founders of this great
Brotherhood appreciated the dangers of intemperance among our craft when they
inscribed this grand motto on our banner. They intended it as a fundamental
principle and a solemn warning against one of our most formidable and
treacherous foes. Intemperance murders the soul. It is the sum of all
villainies, the father of all crimes, the mother of all abomination, the devil’s
best friend, and God’s worst enemy. Industry is the path that leads to
prosperity. It requires us to make proper use of our time and talent, and is in
accordance with the divine injunction to be diligent in all things. All of the
changes which have been made in the condition of mankind, and which are
constantly occurring around you, are attributable to the spirit of industry. And
now, in the nameof Benevolence, Sobriety and Industry, we expect you to
faithfully fulfill your duty to this Lodge and the Brotherhood with all the zeal
and fidelity you can command. Brother Conductor, you will conduct the candidate
to our Past President, who will explain our "Brotherhood Chart."
Past President, by instruction of our President, I have the pleasure of
introducing Mr. …, a worthy candidate, to whom you will explain our "Brotherhood
Should the lodge desire, a magic lantern may be used to portray on a canvas or
wall the different scenes represented on the Chart. This, of course, can Only be
done successfully when the initiation takes place at night, with a darkened room
and the Chart explained from memory as the different scenes are thrown from the
lantern, an effect long to be remembered Is produced, not only on the candidate,
but all present.
Past President: Mr.
…, permit me to call your attention to the scenes on our "Brotherhood Chart."
Through enveloping clouds of wind-driven snow appear familiar scenes,
illustrating the life of a Trainman and the work of the Brotherhood, one of the
most prominent of which is the meeting between employer and employee, and
suggestive of the present era of compromise and good feeling.
A Trainman has just left his train to meet the manager in his office. He is
received with the consideration due a man — complaints are heard, wrongs are
righted, and the Trainman returns to his post. The lower central figure
represents a Lodge in session. The President is instructing the members in the
work of the Brotherhood, and exhorting them to fidelity of obligation and
promptness in the discharge of duty. On the lower right hand corner of the
picture a Trainman is seen going forth from his little home, which is the fruit
of industry and economy. It is the parting hour—a scene of daily occurrence. The
sturdy man is in the prime of life; is blessed with health, and his heart filled
with hope. The parting kiss, the fond embrace, and he leaves his loved ones
Above this quiet home is seen a train wending its way along the firm and arrowy
track of steel. The Trainman is at his post of duty, watchful and ready for any
emergency. He is nearing home again, where all his earthly treasures are.
Oblivious of impending danger, his heart beats warm with emotions of love.
The scene changes. The train is upon a bridge. There is a moment of horror; a
swift prayer to God; a longing thought of pity and love for the dear ones at
home, and then!—the train and its noble heroes plunge together into eternity. It
is the Trainman’s last ride.
On the upper left-hand corner there is seen a stricken household at the moment
the sad news is told. The widowed wife is a picture of despair, while the
fatherless children are playing about, unconscious of the import of the words
they hear. The burial scene follows. "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust." Big
hearted, sympathetic men are gathered around the open grave, and shed tears of
bereavement as the last rites are performed over the remains once so precious
and now so deeply lamented.
On the lower left-hand corner is seen the ministration of the Brotherhood. The
Treasurer visits the bereaved home on a mission of comfort and aid. His hand is
extended to the mother of the orphan children to give her the amount provided by
the loving forethought of the husband. Our Order has fulfilled its mission, and
as the widowed wife and mother receives the aid which stays the approach of
want, and while little orphans look on in childish amazement, fancy beholds an
angel, pointing approvingly to the crowning act of our Brotherhood and its
triune motto—the beautiful words, Benevolence, Sobriety and Industry.
The chain encircling the scene symbolizes, by its links and couplings, the
golden chain of brotherly love and fraternal confidence, which binds the members
of the Order in the sacred bonds of fellowship and brotherhood.
Through the motto of our Brotherhood we have endeavored to instruct you in the
grand principles on which it is founded, and they cannot be too firmly impressed
in your mind and heart. Your loyalty to duty, your devotion to the great
principles on which our Brotherhood is founded, make you an important factor in
carrying out those beneficient purposes for which we have banded ourselves
together. Do your part earnestly and faithfully, and your reward will be more
precious than gold, more enduring than granite.
Mr. …, will you please fill out this blank, in order that we may have a proper
record of your membership?
Past President hands candidate a blank. If he attempts to write the pass.
Conductor should grasp him forcibly, affect surprise and a desire to deal
harshly with candidate. Refrain from using Ritual during this proceeding.
what are you trying to do?
Then turning to President and pointing contemptuously toward the candidate.
Worthy President, this man has written the pass!
The Lodge for a time should appear uncontrollable. Members should rise to their
feet, disregarding formality and apparently much excited, and demand the
expulsion and punishment of the candidate.
President stops confusion by calling Lodge to order, snd says:
I leave the disposition of this man entirely in your hands. Speak out!
What shall be done with him?
It should here be made to appear that the candidate has committed an
unpardonable offense against the nrotherhood, and an expression of opinion in
the matter should be given by a number of the Brothers. Some one brother should
intercede in behalf of the candidate, and the candidate should he requested to
speak for himself, and give such assurance that be will not repeat the offense
as the Lodge may require. This proceeding should be entirely void of levity.
After debate has proceeded far enough, President instructs Conductor to retire
with candidate to ante-room, when the lodge should, after a few minutes’
discussion, agree, by vote or otherwise, to accept the candidate to full
membership. It should be so arranged that the candidate might hear part of the
discussion while In the ante-room. After the lodge has agreed to admit
candidate, the President will instruct the Inner Guard to notify the Conductor.
Conductor conducts candidate in front of President’s station.
friend, the Lodge has decided, after a thorough discussion, to admit you to full
membership, being convinced that you were sincere in your explanation and honest
in your intentions.
In case candidate refuses to write the pass, this, of course, will be omitted,
arid the following substituted:
congratulate you on thus having proven yourself faithful in your sacred pledge
of honor, and may you ever be as loyal and faithful as you have been at this
Brother Conductor, you will now conduct the candidate to the President, who will
give him final instructions.
will now instruct you in the use of the gavel. The gavel is an emblem of
authority, and is used by the President in controlling the Lodge. The sound of
the gavel in the hands of the President is just as imperative as that of an
officer’s command. One rap (*) calls the Lodge to order and seats it; two raps
(**) call up the officers; three raps (***) call up the entire Lodge.
As the President instructs candidate in the use of the gavel, the ofilcers and
members will respond properly as the different raps are given. The Lodge
reinsins standing while the President proceeds as follows:
I will now confer upon you the endearing title of Brother.
President then grasps candidate’s hand wnrmly, and says:
I take you by the right hand, which is to teach you that the right hand of
fellowship is ever extended to worthy and deserving brothers.
Hands candidate a copy of Constitution and General Rules:
I now present to you a copy of our Constitution and General Rules. Study them
all. Nothing but faithful compliance with all their requirements will secure for
you the privileges and protections guaranteed by them. Ignorance of their
contents will not shield you from the penalty attending their violation. And now
by virtue of the power vested in me by the Grand Lodge, I declare Brother … a
member of this Lodge. He is hereby guaranteed all the rights, privileges and
benefits given by our Constitution, Rules and usages.
Brother Chaplain, we will listen reverently while the blessing of the Supreme
Ruler of the Universe is invoked in behalf of our newly made brother.
Candidate should stand at President’s station, facing Lodge, while Chaplain
Ruler of Heaven and earth! We now implore Thy blessing upon this
brother, who has just assumed a high and responsible obligation, and whose
influence is henceforth to be united with ours. May he have power to resist
every temptation, and in Thy hands be an honored instrument in leading many to
virtue and peace. Grant that he may be faithful to his vows, and may all our
members in all parts of this broad land be faithful, and when the voyage of life
is ended, grant us all a safe landing in the harbor of Heaven. Amen.
Lodge responds: Amen.
Conductor, you will conduct Brother … to the Secretary’s station where he will
sign the Constitution, and then introduce him to the Lodge.
Conductor conducts candidate to Secretary’s station, where with his right hand
on his left breast and left hand extended toward Heaven, he repeals after the
President the constitutional oath. He then affixes his signature thereto.
Conductor then conducts candidate in front of President’s station, facing
members, and introduces him as follows:
and members, it affords me great pleasure to introduce to you Brother …, whose
initiation you have just witnessed. May we never have cause to regret his
membership, and may he, by his exemplary conduct and practice of our teachings,
be an honor to our Brotherhood and the pride of all true friends.
President, *: I
now declare a recess of … minutes to extend the grasp of friendship to our newly
Members will then congratulate the new brother, and Conductor seats him. The
Lodge is then called to order, and the ceremony is at an end.
President, *: Brother
Secretary, is there any further business to come before the Lodge at this
President, it appears not.
Treasurer, you will remind the members of the important duties of membership.
the important duties of a Brother Trainman are to remember his obligations to
his brethren, to keep secret all business pertaining to the Brotherhood, to pay
all dues and assessments promptly, to visit sick and disabled brothers, and
attend all meetings of this Lodge.
Chaplain, we are now ready for your parting benediction.
brethren, he lives best who in loyalty to God, does most for humanity; he lives
well who walks worthily in Benevolence, Sobriety and lndustry, and to him shall
the full measure of praise be given: "Well done, thou good and faithful
brother." ]n this parting hour let us not forget the obligation we have assumed;
but as we leave this Lodge-room let it be with a full determination that all our
actions through life shall redound to our honor and insure the prosperity of
this Brotherhood, and may the Great Ruler above watch over, bless and keep us
until our next assembling.
By the Lodge: Amen.
Warden, collect the Rituals and deposit them on the President’s station.
in closing this meeting permit me to thank you for your attendance, and to urge
you to greater efforts in the promotion of the cause of Benevolence, Sobriety
Be fraternal in your intercourse, harmonious in your labors, just and courteous
to your employers—remembering always to do unto others as you would have them do
unto you. I now declare … Lodge No. … closed until the time of the next regular
meeting, unless otherwise ordered.
A special "Thank You" to
Brothers Denis McGowan and Burke Gray for the history and images used to create