International Brotherhood of Boiler Makers, and Iron Ship Builders


This ritual shall he placed in the care of each President of each Local Branch, who in turn shall place it in the hands of his successor, after being qualified. Each President in case of absence from Meeting must cause it to be conveyed to the Meeting Room, for use, under no circumstances it is to be shown to any person not a Member.

President: Worthy Officers and Brothers; having assembled together to transact the business of this Branch, I hope therefore you will deal firmly and impartially in every case that may be brought before you, In honor to yourselves, and to the credit to this Branch. Worthy Officers and Brothers, I declare this Branch legally opened.


President to Candidate: Have you ever belonged to any branch of this Brotherhood before?
If in the affirmative and the branch belongs to, has lapsed the ceremony proceeds, but if the branch is in existence the candidate must wait until permission be granted by this branch.
You are now about to take an ob1igation on yourself, the nature of which will not interfere with any religious convictions you may have.
Neither do it conflict with the laws of this country or any other, having this guarantee you are reminded that the members of this Brotherhood are expected at all times to set a christian example by giving a helping hand to all our members when the opportunity occurs. Finally be faithful to the trust about to be committed to your care, and manifest your fidelity to the principles of our Brotherhood by a strict adherence to our constitution and By-Laws.
Now as you have heard what will be your portion, are you still willing to take upon yourself the obligation, you will place your right hand on your heart, and take a copy of the Constitution in your left hand, and repeat the following obligation.
The President before giving the obligation shall call the members to their feet with two raps of the gavel, and they shall form a quarter circle around the candidates, and seated by three raps.


I, …, do hereby bind and obligate myself to keep strictly secret, all the transactions of this Brotherhood, and that I will not make known to any person or persons any of the Signs, Passwords or Grips of this Brotherhood, that I will aid and assist in relieving any member who may be in distress, so far as I may be able to do so.
And in all manner and respect conform to the Constitution and By-Laws governing this Brotherhood, to all of which I in the presence of all now assembled, pledge my word and sacred honor to fulfil under penalty of being held unworthy the confidence of honest men, and unworthy of membership in this, of any other Society, for any violation of this obligation.
The President seats the members by giving three raps of the gavel.

President: You, …, having made this promise of your own free will, I hereby declare you a member of the International Brotherhood of Boiler Makers and Iron Ship Builders, and call your attention to the fact, that you will be required to assist and defend the character of a Brother Member, relieve his distress in the hour of need, be attentive to the meetings of this Brotherhood, you must not think that the Officers alone will be able to run this Branch, but on the contrary, your advise upon all matters will be looked for, so therefore you will see the necessity of being present every meeting, paying your Dues and Assessments regularly, thereby proving that you are a member in deed, and by your conduct prove to the world that we are worthy of their Confidence and Support as an Organization.
We have Pass Words, Signs, Grips, etc., the Pass Word is changed quarterly. The Pass Word will gain your admission to the meeting room, but you are not to use it in any other way, by its use you can work your way into any Branch of this Brotherhood. The President alone is authorized to give it to a member, in the absence of the President he will charge someone to represent him. The Pass Word I will now give you: ….
The Grip is made thus, shake hands in the usual way, fore finger of right hand bent so as to press with the end of it, the palm of the other’s hand, when shaking hands press the thumb on the knuckle of third finger.
The Sign of Recognition by which we recognize one another, in shop or street is made as follows. Right hand placed carelessly on left shoulder. Return Sign, place left hand on right shoulder. If in doubt the Brother challenges, clasps both hands in front of body, then the Brother giving the first, places both hands behind his back.
The Sign of Courtesy is made in this manner. The right hand shut raised to height of shoulder.
Return sign, made in same manner.
The Voting Sign is made it the following manner. The right hand open raised above the shoulder. It is used both for the affirmative and negative.
We also have a Travelling sign, that can be used by members when travelling, and in distress.
It will be given that members in good standing by the President, this word will be changed every year after Convention.
In gaining admission to the meetings of the Branch; besides the Pass Word, the member will give four raps on the door as follows, one rap, pause, one rap, pause, two raps in quick succession: * * **.
When the inner guard attends, give him your name and Pass Word, then you will be admitted, if you have not the Pass Word, give the inner guard your name, and tell him you have not the Pass Word. The inner guard will proceed to the President and inform him that Bro. … is without in waiting, without the Pass Word. If in good standing the President will order you to be admitted, when you will advance to the centre displaying the Sign of Courtesy, the President will return the Sign, then you can take your seat.
Worthy Officers and Brothers, having concluded the business of this evening, I hope therefore you will depart in peace and friendship, until business or duty calls us together. Worthy Officers and Brothers, I declare this Branch legally closed.