Iron Molders' Union of North America
Initiation Ritual


1. This Ritual shall under no consideration, be submitted or subjected to the inspection of any person not a member in good standing of the Iron Molders' Union of North America (one who has taken the obligation prescribed herein); neither shall it, under any circumstances, be allowed to remain in the hands of any person during the recess of the Union, except in those of the President; and whenever practicable, it shall be locked up in a desk or drawer in the meeting-room.
2. Each Union shall make special efforts to have their meeting-room in such a location as to prevent the possibility of other than members present hearing or seeing what is transpiring therein. And it is strictly prohibited from holding meetings, either regular or special, in a room immediately back or front of a bar-room.
3. As much of the impressiveness and solemnity of the initiatory ceremony depends upon the manner in which the charges are enunciated, those most capable of discharging this duty should be selected. Should the President be deficient in distinct articulation, some member better qualified in that particular respect should occupy his place during the ceremony.
This rule is imperative. The Corresponding Representative is enjoined to see that the initiatory ceremony is not performed in a limping, halting, farcical manner.
4. It is earnestly recommended that, so far as practicable, the President, or whoever may conduct the ceremonies, should commit the charges and obligation to memory, and deliver them in a clear, emphatic, distinct and solemn manner.
5. During the opening and closing ceremonies, or during the initiation of a candidate, the Door-keeper shall not permit any Brother to either enter or pass out. And no member shall be allowed to enter or pass out of the meeting-room during the reading of the minutes.
6. Members in bad standing, who have taken the obligation herein provided, can not be debarred admission until suspended, and the Door-keeper shall be responsible for the admission of any suspended member to the meeting-room while the Union is in session. No member in bad standing is entitled to the pass-word.
7. Each Union will receive from the President of the Iron Molders' Union of North America a pass-word every three months, which must be taken up at the opening of each meeting from every member, without any exception. Members unable to give the same shall be reported to the President, who shall instruct the Inductor to give the pass-word to such member, provided he is in good standing.
8. Members depositing cards can not be admitted in the meeting-room until a committee has waited upon them in the ante-room, and said committee is thoroughly convinced that they are members in good standing—the Union to take action on the report of the committee.

Opening of the Union
The hour of meeting having arrived, and a quorum being present, the President shall take the chair and give two raps with the gavel, upon which the officers and members shall he seated.
The President shall then give one rap with the gavel, and general silence shall be observed.
The President, rising in his place, shall say:
Brother members, I am about to open this
Union of fraternally united Iron Molders, for the purpose of taking into consideration such measures as will tend to perpetuate our Union, spread its principles and advance our own individual and collective interests. You will therefore give me your attention.
The President will then address the Door-keeper as follows:
Brother Door-keeper, it is your duty to securely guard the door, and permit none to enter this meeting-room but members who are entitled to meet with us.
The President will then address the Inductor:
Brother Inductor, you will now proceed to examine each and every officer and member present in the pass-word, and report to me every member who can not give you the same.
After carefully examining every member present, the Inductor shall report to the President as follows:
Brother President, I have examined all the Brothers, and find them all correct.
The President shall then arise and address the Union as follows:
Officers and Members: By virtue of my office I have charge over this Union. I am bound by my obligation as an officer to see that the laws are strictly and impartially enforced.
I am also bound to preserve proper order and decorum. It is your duty to remain here and take an active part and interest in every question that may come before the Union. The obligation you have taken should be ever present in your mind, and I trust that on this occasion you will so conduct yourselves that the painful duty of recalling to your minds those duties or that obligation will be spared me. I now declare this Union open for the transaction of such business as may legally come before it—nothing of a personal, religious or partisan nature to be introduced, under the penalty of our laws.
Upon the application of a journeyman molder for membership in this organization, a committee of not less than three members in good standing shall be appointed to investigate into his character and standing as a journeyman molder and a citizen, and such committee must report in writing as to the result of their investigation.
The Union should furnish blanks for this purpose, and the President should invariably instruct such committee that they are expected to do their duty fearlessly and impartially.
The candidate having been duly balloted for and elected, and being present in the ante-room, the President shall instruct the Vice-President and Inductor to proceed to the ante-room, one of whom shall take this Ritual, and address the candidate(s) in waiting as follows:
My friend(s), have you ever before made application to become a member, or been initiated into the I. M. U. of N. A.?
Candidate(s) will answer.

My friend(s), by a vote of our Union it has been decreed that you shall be admitted to membership in our brotherhood. In consideration of worthiness of the Brother who proposed you, and of the committee which investigated into your character and standing, we have concluded to share with you our privileges, and we sincerely trust you will never abuse the confidence we are about to repose in you, and the honor about to be conferred upon you. We trust your motives are pure and good, and spring from a sincere desire to better your own condition, as well as that of your fellow-craftsmen, socially, morally, intellectually and financially.
Before admitting you to full membership, we shall exact of you a most solemn and binding obligation. We have all taken the same pledge, and are subject to its binding influence by the eternal principles of justice, and by every inspiration of spotless manhood.
This obligation will not in any manner conflict with your social or religious duties; but it will bind you by every principle of honor, integrity and justice.
If you feel that you can not keep the obligation we shall impose on you, for your benefit, protection and elevation, you had better retire; for it were better to never take that obligation than to break it and stamp upon yourself the infamy attached to those who have neither honor nor manhood.
The Inductor will then conduct the candidate(s) to the inner door, giving three distinct raps thereon. The Door-keeper will demand to know who is there, and the Inductor will answer as follows:
A candidate(s) in whom we have every confidence.
The door will then be opened and the candidate(s) admitted.
The candidate(s), with the several guides, will take their stand immediately in front of the President, who shall address the candidate(s) as follows:
My friend(s), you have been duly proposed and elected by the good will and votes of those whose truest interests and wish is the fullest success of our system of unity and brotherhood, that by protection through combination we may assist each other.
Before you proceed further, it becomes my duty to ask you a few questions.
Do you declare, without equivocation, that you have sought admission into this Union for the purpose of guarding its interests, spreading its principles, and ameliorating your own condition?
Candidate(s) will answer.
Have you come fully prepared to labor with all your mind and all your strength for the social, moral, mental and financial elevation of our members, for the promotion of true harmony and genuine brotherly feeling among all worthy initiated members?
Candidate(s) will answer.
Brother members, you have heard our friend(s) answers. Do you still think him worthy of being initiated?
Members answer.
The President will give three raps with the gavel and the members will rise to their feet.
The candidate(s) will then place his right hand on his left breast, and place his left hand upon a copy of the Constitution of the Iron Molder's Union of North America.
You will now repeat after me the following obligation, using your name(s) where
I use mine:
I, …, do voluntarily become a member of this Union, and pledge myself, upon my sacred honor as a man, before the members here present, to abide by the Constitution, By-Laws, Rules and Regulations of this Union.
I further pledge myself, that I will do all in my power to advance the interests of this Union and those of the Iron Molders' Union of North America. I will do all in my power to assist a Brother in procuring employment, in preference to any molder who is not a member. I will abide by the decision of the majority, constitutionally expressed.
I also pledge my sacred honor, that I will not divulge any of the business transactions of this Union, or of the Iron Molders' Union of North America. Should I leave this Union, I will consider this pledge as binding out of it as in it.
The President will then give one rap with the gavel, and the members will be seated.
The President will then address the Brother(s) as follows:
Brother(s)—by that name I can now address you—you have of your own free will become one of us; you have pledged your most sacred word of honor that you will be true through life to the principles of this organization, and to abide by the Constitution of the Iron Molders' Union of North America, and the By-Laws, Rules and Regulations of this Union. The great aim and object of our Union is to give to our members that position in society which is their undoubted right as citizens and freemen. Let whatever you hear in this room remain closely locked in your own mind; and as you value your manhood and your honor, avoid all talk or controversy about the internal workings of this Union outside of this room. I would remind you that strict adherence to all our laws as laid down in the Constitution and other special acts of the Iron Molders' Union of North America, is required of you by the obligation you have just taken. You are also to be prompt and regular in your attendance at the meetings of the Union. You are to regard every member as a Brother; and, finally, you are to do your utmost in spreading the power and influence of this organization.
I will now make you acquainted with the signs and pass-word, by which you will gain admittance to this meeting-room. The pass word is never to be used except to enter this room.
You must never give this word to any member or other person except the Inductor and Door-keeper. Upon arriving at the door, you will give three distinct raps; the Door-keeper will then present himself, and you will give him your name and the pass-word the Inductor will then give the new member the pass-word, which will admit you to the room,
Upon entering the room, you will advance to the center thereof and salute the President thus: place your right hand within a few inches of your left shoulder, and then draw it back in the form of a salute. The President will return the salute in a similar manner, when you will be seated.
Should you desire to withdraw from the room previous to the adjournment, you will advance to the middle of the floor and salute the President as upon entering, and when he returns the salute you will be permitted to retire; but no member will be permitted to retire while any Brother is speaking.
Brother(s), I now extend to you the right hand of fellowship, and declare you a member of Iron Molders' Union No. …, and entitled to enjoy all its rights and privileges. We bid you a cordial welcome to this Union of Molders. We trust and believe you will always, and under all circumstances, prove true and faithful to the obligations you have this night taken upon yourself; that you will labor untiringly to promote the interests of this Union and its members; and prove yourself worthy of admission into any and every Union of Iron Molders, as an honourable and faithful member.
Closing ceremonies
When the order of business has been gone through with, the President shall arise and address the Union as follows:
There being no further business before the Union, I will proceed to close.
Brothers, before you leave the room and separate for your respective homes, I would urge upon you activity and vigilance in the cause of our Union, and the objects for which we are organized. Be ever watchful and mindful of the trust confided in you; let no day pass without rendering a kindness to a Brother, or something done to strengthen our Union; and, that we may not forget our duties, let us again, ere we part, re-affirm all that we have heretofore been obligated to perform.
The President will then give three raps with the gavel, which calls the members to their feet, when the Union led by the President, will repeat as follows:
We hereby pledge ourselves to remember our obligation, especially not to divulge any of the business transactions of this Union.
I now declare this Union adjourned for … weeks, when I hope to see you all present. The Door-keeper will open the door and members to retire.