Brotherhood of Railway Clerks

No date

Opening Ceremony

During this ceremony no members will be admitted to the lodge room. They may, however, be admitted to the ante-room.
The hour for meeting having arrived, the President assumes his station, gives * and says:
Members will be seated and officers repair to their respective stations.
If any stations are vacant the President will fill then, temporarily from the members present, after which he will continue.
Brother (or Sister) Sergeant-at-Arms, see that all lodge room doors are secured, all official stations filled and then ascertain if all present are entitled to remain.
Worthy President, your 6rder has been obeyed. The doors are securely guarded, all stations filled, and all present are entitled to sit with us.
It is well. Brother (or Sister) Inner Guard, exchange places with the Outer Guard.
The outer Guard enters and stands inside the door.
Brother (or Sister) Outer Guard, what are your duties?
It is my duty to safely guard the outer door, and allow no one to enter except those who are in possession of the term password, or by permission of the President.
So let it be, you will resume your station and relieve the Inner Guard.
Inner Guard resumes his place.
Brother (or Sister) Inner Guard, what are your duties?
Worthy President, to faithfully guard the inner door, and suffer none to pass or repass except such as are duly qualified; or by permission of the President.
Brother (or Sister) Sergeant-at-Arms, what are your duties?
Worthy President, to see that all present at the opening of the lodge are in possession of the passwords, to receive and conduct all candidates for initiation, and perform such other duties as may be required by the President or by the lodge.
Brother (or Sister) Chaplain, what are your duties?
To invoke the divine blessing upon all our undertakings, and perform such other duties as may be required by the President or by the lodge.
Brother (or Sister) Treasurer, what are your duties?
Worthy President, to have charge of and safely keep all of the funds of this lodge, and pay out the same only by order of the lodge, when I shall have received a warrant signed by the President and Secretary, and keep a true and correct account thereof.
Brother (or Sister) Financial Secretary, what are your duties?
Worthy President, to collect and receive all moneys due the lodge, to keep a true and correct account between the lodge and its members, and to turn over to the Treasurer all money in my possession belonging to the lodge at the close of each meeting, taking a receipt therefor, and to perform such other duties as may pertain to my office.
Should the offices of Financial Secretary and Treasurer be combined the one holding that office will make reply for both.
Brother (or Sister) Secretary, what are your duties?
Worthy President, it is my duty to keep true and correct minutes of all meetings, conduct the correspondence of the lodge, have charge of the seal, use it cautiously, placing it on only official correspondence and records, and to perform such other duties as are required by the laws of the Brotherhood.
Brother (or Sister) Vice-President, what are your duties?
Worthy President, to assist the President in preserving order, and in the absence of the President to perform to the best of my ability the duties of presiding officer, and do all in my power to advance the welfare of the Brotherhood.
My duties are to preside over this lodge, without fear or favor, ever having the welfare of this Brotherhood at heart, and with malice towards none, and equal rights for all.
The Chaplain will now invoke the Divine Blessing * * *.

Opening Prayer

Our Father, Who art in Heaven—as a body we congregate in this lodge room for the betterment of our fellow-workers and the furtherance of our cause; lead us that we may do all things well. Amen.
So let it be.
I now declare this lodge open for the transaction of such business as may legally come before it. Brother (or Sister) Inner Guard, you will now permit such as may be in waiting and qualified, to enter.
A short recess to permit those waiting to enter and be seated.
We will now proceed to the regular business of the lodge. Members will please pay attention.
Order of Business
1. Calling roll of officers (Secretary calls the roll, the Sergeant-at-Arms answers)
2. Reading minutes of last meeting and action thereon.
3. Report of Financial Secretary.
4. Report of Treasurer.
5. Propositions for membership.
6. Appointment of investigating committees.
7. Report of investigating committees.
8. Balloting on candidates.
9. Initiation of candidates.
10. Communications and bills.
11. Reports of standing committees.
12. Reports of special committees.
13. Election of officers.
14. Installation of officers.
15. New business. Is there any new business?
16. Application for withdrawal and transfer cards.
17. Receiving deposit of withdrawal and transfer cards.
18. Reports of suspension.
19. Good of the Brotherhood. Have the members anything to say under this head?
20. Is any member out of employment?
21. Does any member know of a vacancy which might be filled by a member?
22. Does any one know of a member who is sick or in distress?
23. Receipts and disbursements for the evening.


Brother (or Sister) Sergeant-at-Arms, retire to the ante-room and ascertain if there are any candidates in waiting.
The Sergeant-at-Arms retires, obtains the names of candidates if any are in waiting, returns to the lodge room and stands directly behind the alter facing the President, who asks:
Brother (or Sister) Sergeant-at-Arms, did you find any candidates awaiting initiation; if so, what are their names?
Worthy President. … give names in full are in the ante-room awaiting your pleasure.
Sergeant-at-Arms resumes his station.
Brother (or Sister) Secretary, you will proceed to the ante-room and ask the necessary questions, making a record of the answers. Brother (or Sister) Financial Secretary, you will accompany the Secretary and collect the required fees and dues from such as have not already paid them.
Secretary and Financial Secretary retire and carry out the President’s instructions, after which they will return to the lodge room and their stations, when the President will inquire
Brother (or Sister) Financial Secretary, Has the candidate, (or have the candidates) paid the required fees and dues?
Worthy President, he (or she) has, (or they have).
Brother (or Sister) Secretary, has the candidate (or have these candidates) been duly proposed and elected, and otherwise qualified for initiation by making proper answers to all questions?
Worthy President, he (or she) has (or they have.)
Brother (or Sister) Sergeant-at-Arms, you will select your assistants, retire and prepare the candidate for initiation.
Sergeant-at-Arms selects one assistant for each candidate, retires with them, prepares the candidates and advances to the inner door, giving thereon ~ which will be answered in the same manner by the Inner Guard, who will then open the .door, admitting the Sergeant-at-Arms with candidates. Sergeant-at-Arms will march candidates at least once around the lodge room halting them at the alter, facing the President, and say:
Worthy President, I present to you … names them who desire and are awaiting initiation into our noble Brotherhood.
Friend (or friends) as you are about to enter upon new duties, form new ties and assume other obligations, ‘and as no one should endeavor to do these things without first asking for Divine help, the Sergeant-at-Arms will place you in proper position, and the Chaplain will implore the Almighty Ruler of the universe to give you strength to keep sacred and inviolate the obligations of the Brotherhood.
The Sergeant-at-Arms then places candidates in position to receive the obligation, by putting their open right hands over their ‘hearts’, and says:
Worthy President, the Candidate is (or candidates are) in proper position.
Chaplain leaves station, advances to front of alter facing candidates and prays
As we encounter the mysteries of life, not knowing from whence we came or whither we are going or what ‘experiences are before us, it is most fitting that we first of all ask for the guidance and protection of Him who knoweth all things, seeth all things and directs the steps of those who put their trust in Him. We therefore at this time implore Divine blessing upon the exercises of this hour and earnestly pray that this candidate (or these candidates) may be fully impressed with the importance of the step he (or she) is, (or they are) about to take. May he (she or they) fully realize the power for good that may be exercised by the united effort of those who are banded together by the bonds of fraternal love and the ties of brotherhood; that he (she or they) may here and now, in the presence of God, and of his (her or their) fellow members fully determine that henceforth he (she or they) will become a faithful member (or faithful members) ever performing the duties that shall devolve upon him (her or them) and thus aid in achieving for our united Brotherhood those things for which we are striving. Amen.
So let it be.
President leaves his station, advances to alter and administers obligation The Sergeant-at-Arms, as well as candidates, will repeat the obligation.
You will now repeat after me the following obligation, each of you pronouncing your name where I use mine:
I, …, of my own free will, in the presence of Almighty God and this assembly, do solemnly promise and declare that I will keep sacred and inviolate the secrets of this Brotherhood, and will not repeat outside of the lodge room any transaction whatsoever which may have taken place therein to anyone other than those whom I know to be members in good standing.
I will obey the Constitution and Laws of this Organization, and all orders emanating from its proper offices when in conformity therewith; I will not knowingly wrong or defame a member myself, or allow it to be done by others, if in my power to prevent it.
I will assist a member at all times insofar as my means or ability will permit and will guard a member’s interest as my own.
I will employ, or assist a member of this Brotherhood to secure employment, in preference to a non-member.
I further declare that should I from any cause leave this order, my obligation shall remain binding and in full force.
To all of this I promise and declare that I will keep and perform the same to the best of my
ability, so help me God, and may He keep me steadfast.
We have all witnessed your solemn obligation.
It is well. I now extend to you my right hand in token of brotherly love, and with it you will receive the grip, the words accompanying it.
President now takes a bundle of sticks, and continues:
You see this bundle of sticks; bound together as they are it is impossible for you to either bend or ‘break them; withdraw one, behold how easily it bends, and how easily it may be broken. Here we learn a lesson in unity which proves that in unity there is strength and so it is with you. Alone, you will be compelled to yield and break, but, bound by the cords of Brotherhood, Rectitude and Conservatism, a giant’s strength would be expended in vain. Therefore, as no chain is stronger than its weakest link, see to it that you are not a defective link in our fraternal chain, so that if the time should ever come, the chain of mutual interest which binds us together may never be broken. Strive to attend the meetings of your lodge regularly and thus prove your interest, and by close attention to its workings you will at all times be able to prove yourself a worthy member (or yourself worthy rnembers) of this great Brotherhood. The Sergeant-at-Arms will now escort you to the President’s station, where, in order that you may be thoroughly conversant with it, I wil[ instruct you in our secret work. *
President returns to station and Sergeant-at-Arms conducts candidates once around lodge room, halting them in Front of and facing the President, who proceeds:

To enter a lodge room, while the lodge is in session, you will give any alarm at the outer door that will attract the attention of the Outer Guard, and to that officer you will give the term password, which password can only be procured by you from the President, no other person being authorized to give it, and then only while you are in good standing in your lodge. For the present term this word is …. This will admit you to the outer room. You will then signal at the inner door with … which will be answered in the same manner by the Inner Guard, who will raise the wicket, and through it you will then give the annual password of the Brotherhood. This word is ….
You will then be admitted to the lodge room, where you will advance to the center in front of the altar facing the Vice-President’s station and give the salutation sign, which is ….
You will be answered by the countersign, which is ….
You will then take your seat.
The sign of recognition is made in this manner: ….
The answer being made with the right hand, thus: ….
Should you have occasion to warn a member of impending danger, we have a warning sign, which is given , the answer being or, in case you should be in a position where this cannot be used or seen, you may use Warning Sign, which is …; the answer is ….
The distress sign is made as follows ….
This sign is used to obtain assistance when in distress. Should the circumstances be such that the sign cannot be seen or used, you will use the words of distress ….
Members of this Brotherhood seeing this sign, or hearing the words, should go to the relief of the one so giving them and render all the aid and assistance in their power.
In service communications we have a method of revealing ourselves to a member of this Brotherhood, and when you see this sign you will recognize the writer as a fellow member and govern yourself accordingly.
The sign is made thus ….
The voting sign, which is used for both an affirmative and negative vote, is made thus ….
The gavel in the hands of the President is used to govern the movements of this lodge. * calls to order or seats the lodge if standing. ** calls up the officers, and *** calls up the whole lodge.
This ends your instructions. May your membership with us be for our mutual benefit, and may we never have cause to regret the confidence which we have reposed in you. You will now face about and as your name is called take two steps to the front, so that the members may recognize you and know you by name.
Members of … Lodge, No. …, I take great pleasure in introducing to you Brother (or Sister) … names them who is now entitled to share in all the benefits and privileges of our noble Brotherhood.
I now declare a short recess, during which time you will step to the Secretary’s desk, where you will sign the membership roll.

Closing Ceremonies

Members, we are about to close this lodge. Does any one know of anything which has been left undone, that cannot be reasonably deferred until our next regular meeting?
Short pause to give members an opportunity to bring up any matter that may have been overlooked, after which the President continues.
The Chaplain will now invoke the Divine Blessing * * *.
Our Father, Who art in Heaven after we depart from this room, having done our, full duty, and carried out our vows according to our promise, by Thy grace cause us to remember our obligation, and refrain from discussing any transactions which have taken place in this meeting with or in the presence of anyone except those whom we know to be members of this Brotherhood in good standing. Amen.
So let it be.
Sergeant-at-Arms will now collect the Rituals, regalias and report.
Worthy President, your order has been obeyed.
Members, before we leave, let us all remember our obligation. There being no objections, I now declare this lodge closed until our next meeting, … date, day of week and month.