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.
President: Guards, 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.
Conductor: Brother 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.
President: Let each head bow with reverence to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe while the Chaplain invokes a divine blessing.
Chaplain: Most 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.
President: The countersign, Brothers.
Members give countersign together. Answered hy President giving answer to countersign.
President: I now declare … Lodge No. … open for the transaction of all business and work which may be properly brought before it. Sectarian discussions are strictly forbidden.
President, *: Brother Inner Guard, you will notify the Outer Guard that the Lodge has been duly opened.
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 door.
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.
President: Brother 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:
Conductor: Brother President, I find Mr. … in waiting in the ante-room.
President: Brother 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:
President: Brothers 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 organization?
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 blindfold him.
Treasurer: Brother 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.
President: Brother Vice President, are there any reasons why Mr. should not at this time be admitted?
Vice President: Brother President, there are none.
President: Let 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:
Conductor: Alone 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?
Conductor: Brother President, Mr. …, a worthy Trainman, has thus far complied with our requirements and signified his willingness to take our obligation.
President: Brother Conductor, the candidate will now be placed in position to receive our obligation.
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.)
President: Let 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 can.
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.
President: You have accepted a most sacred obligation and is it your desire to be further enlightened?
Conductor whispers to candidate to say "Yes," and after candidate has repeated it, the Conductor removes the hoodwink, and the President says:
President: Encircled 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 your oath.
Members take seats and Conductor assists candidate to arise.
President: Brother Conductor, you will now present the candidate to the President, who will instruct him in the secret work of our Brotherhood.
President: Having 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 month’s dues.
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."
Conductor: Brother Past President, by instruction of our President, I have the pleasure of introducing Mr. …, a worthy candidate, to whom you will explain our "Brotherhood Chart."
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 employe, 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 righthand 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 behind.
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.
Conductor: Man! 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:
President: Brothers, 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.
President: My 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:
President: I 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 time.
Brother Conductor, you will now conduct the candidate to the President, who will give him final instructions.
President: I 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 repeats:
Chaptain: Almighty 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.
President: Brother 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:
Conductor: Officers 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 made brother.
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 meeting.
Secretary: Brother President, it appears not.
President: Brother Treasurer, you will remind the members of the important duties of membership.
Treasurer: Brothers, 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.
President: Brother Chaplain, we are now ready for your parting benediction.
Chaplain: My 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.
President: Brother Warden, collect the Rituals and deposit them on the President’s station.
President: Brothers, 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 and Industry.
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.