Brotherhood of Painters, Decorators and Paperhangers of America
Initiation Ritual


n.d.


Opening Ceremony for Local Unions

Immediately upon the arrival of the hour of meeting, a quorum being present, the President shall call the meeting to order and a general silence he enforced.
President, *:
Brothers, we are about to open this Local Union for the purpose of considering such measures as will tend to perpetuate our Brotherhood, spread its principles, elevate our trade and advance our interests, individually and collectively. All not members will please retire to the ante-room.
If any officers are absent, the President will make such appointments, pro tem, as may he necessary.
President:
Brother Warden, guard well the entrance to our Union, and allow none to retire nor admit any without the password, except by permission of the Vice-President.
President:
Brother Conductor, communicate to me the password, after which you will examine all present and report any who cannot give the same.
As soon as the Conductor reports.
President:
I now declare Local Union No. Ö open for the transaction of such business as may legally come before it. Brothers, join me in giving the salutation. One rap.
 
 
Initiation Ceremony

President:
Brother Recording Secretary, are there any candidates in waiting? If so, report their names.
Secretary reports by reading pertinent data from each application giving the applicants name, age, marital status, number of years at the trade. States that applicant has answered all the questions in a satisfactory manner, and has been passed by the examining hoard, and is vouched f or by Brothers Ö.
President:
You have heard the qualifications of the candidate for membership. I will entertain a motion that this candidate be accepted into Local Union No. Ö. Motion to be made and carried.
President:
Brother Conductor, retire and lead the candidate in for initiation. Brothers, cease all conversation and preserve strict order during the ceremonies of initiation.
The Conductor leads in the candidate and halts him in front of the Presidentís station.
President, ***:
Fellow workman, before proceeding further, and previous to your initiation as a member of this Brotherhood, it is necessary that you take an obligation that will bind you to this Brotherhood and that will, in no wise, conflict with your religious belief or duties as a citizen. Are you willing?
Upon satisfactory answer being given:
President:
The Conductor will now escort you to the Preceptor who will administer the obligation.
Conductor escorts candidate to the Preceptorís station.
Preceptor:
Place your hand over your heart and pay strict attention while I recite to you the obligation that we have all taken.
 
 
Obligation
 
Of my own free will and accord, before God, in the presence of these witnesses, and on my sacred honor, I do now covenant to keep the affairs of this Brotherhood strictly private, unless empowered to reveal the same.
I will abide by its laws, both general and local, and wilt use all honorable means to procure employment for brother members.
I will make all possible effort to attend the meetings, and will pay all dues and assessments levied in accordance with the laws.
I further agree that, should it be hereafter discovered that I have made any misstatements as to my qualifications for membership, I be debarred from all benefits provided by this Brotherhood.
I will be obedient to authority, orderly in its meetings, respectful in words and actions, charitable in judgment of my brother members and will never, from selfish motives, wrong a brother or see him wronged, if in my power to prevent it.
I will render full allegiance to this Brotherhood, and never consent to subordinate its interests to those of any other organization of which II am now or may, hereafter, become a member.
I further solemnly promise, on my word of honor that, whenever and wherever possible. I will purchase only strictly union made goods, that I will use my best endeavors to influence others to do the same, and never become faithless to this obligation.
Preceptor, addressing the candidate:
You will now repeat after me. To all of this I promise and pledge my sacred word and honor, to observe and keep the same as a true and faithful member of the Brotherhood of Painters, Decorators and Paperhangers of America.
Members in Chorus:
We all bear witness.
The Conductor escorts the candidate to the Presidentís station.
President, addressing the candidate:
I will now instruct you in the secret work.
We have an entering and a retiring sign and a quarterly password. No other signs or secret work are used in our organization.
On seeking admission you will give two distinct raps on the inner door, which the Warden will answer by one rap from within. The Warden will open the door partially, and you will give him, in a whisper, your name, the number of your Union, and the quarterly password which the Conductor will now give you..
The Conductor will give the word in a whisper to the candidate.

You will then be admitted. Advance to the center of the room and salute the Preceptor, who sits on my right, in this manner: right hand raised, palm to the front, hand closed, with the index finger pointing upward.
He will acknowledge the salutation by the same sign.
Should you have the permission of the Vice-President to retire, before the meeting is closed, you will advance to the center and salute the Preceptor in this manner: same position as on entering and salute with the left hand closed, hack of hand to the Preceptor. He will acknowledge as before by the same sign.
During the session of the Union one rap of the gavel calls the members to order.
Three raps calls all to their feet.
When standing, one rap seats the members.
The voting sign is made thus: raise the right hand on a level with the eye, hand open, palm forward. When depositing ballots also salute the President in a similar manner.
You have now received all the instructions that can be given you in this Union.
Let caution be engraved deeply in your heart. You must be ever watchful of all you say and do and, as you value your manhood and your honor, be ever mindful of the obligation you have taken.
The Conductor will escort you to the Financial Secretary and, on signing the roll and payment of regular dues, you will receive your card of membership and a copy of our laws.
  
 
Closing Ceremony
 
President:
There being no further business, we will proceed to close. Three raps.
Brothers, you will all bear well in mind your obligation. Help one another, strive to strengthen our Brotherhood, and be careful not to divulge the private business of this Union.
President:
And now, by virtue of my office, I declare Local Union No. Ö of the B. of P., D. and P. of A., duly closed until our next session, when I hope to sue all present who can possibly attend. Brothers, join me in giving the retiring sign. One rap.


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