Order of United Commercial Travelers of America  
Initiation Ritual


Opening Ceremonies

S.C.,*: Brother Councilors, attention! Fellow officers, you will occupy your respective stations.
Brother Page! You will inform the Sentinel that we are now ready to open this council, that no one shall be admitted during our opening ceremonies.
Page, standing at salute in front of altar: Brother Senior Counselor! Your orders have been obeyed.
S.C.: Brother Conductor and Brother Page, you will proceed to my station, transmit to me the perpetual and term passwords, after which you gill satisfy yourselves that all present are Councilors.
The Conductor and Page will approach the front of the altar, salute and approach the station of the Senior Counselor, the Conductor being on the right and the Page on the left as they face the Senior Counselor’s station. Each will communicate both, the perpetual and term passwords to the Senior Counselor; the Conductor will then take up the words from the Councilors on the Senior Counselor’s left, and the Page from those on his right; they will meet in front of the Junior Counselor’s station, the Page reporting to the Conductor; they will then repair to the front of the altar and salute the Senior Counselor. Each Councilor, as he is approached, will arise and give, in a whisper both of the required words; should he be without the words, he shall remain standing until the officers have made their report.
Conductor, saluting: Brother Senior Counselor! We are satisfied that all present are Councilors, except those standing, who are without the passwords.
If found worthy, the S.C. shall invest those standing, with the required words. Conductor will remain in front of the altar.
S.C.: Brother Chaplain, you will proceed with the duties of your office.
Conductor escorts Chaplain to altar and stands one pace behind him.
S.C., ***: You will be attentive to the invocation. Brother Chaplain, proceed.
Chaplain, standing in front of the altar: Our Beneficent Father. We bow our heads in humble recognition of our dependence upon Thee. Bestow Thy blessings upon us, while here assembled, and may the spirit of Unity and Harmony prevail throughout our deliberations, and all of our actions and decisions be in accordance with Thy will. Be with our absent brothers, guard them in their out-goings, and grant unto them a safe return to their homes and loved ones. Help us so to direct our lives that we may be living exponents of the chief of our tenets, Charity: Amen.
The Chaplain will remain standing until the S. C. has declared the council open. He will then open the Bible at the twenty-seventh chapter of Matthew 3-5. Conductor escorts Chaplain to his station and resumes his own station.
S.C.: Brother Councilors, let us give the Oath of Allegiance to our Flag.
S.C.: It is my duty to preside over your deliberations; enforce the decrees of the Supreme Council; teach the new members the beauties of Unity, Charity and Temperance; maintain the dignity of the Order, and use all honorable means for the advancement of our interests as commercial and professional men accordingly, I now declare Council, No duly opened and ready for business.*
S.C.: Brother Page! Inform the Sentinel that this Council is open, and admit all councilors in good standing.
If councilors are known by the Page or Sentinel to be in good standing, the formality of “working their way” through the Page’s door with the consequent delay and interruption, may be dispensed with.
Page, at salute in front of the altar: Brother Senior Counselor! Your orders have been obeyed.
S.C.: Brother Secretary-Treasurer! You will call the role of officers and Past Counselors, and read the minutes of our last regular meeting; also those of any special meetings which have since been held. Conductor, standing, will answer the roll call.

Order of Business

1. Calling roll of officers and Past Counselors.
2. Read minutes of previous meeting.
3. Does any Councilor know of a Councilor who is entitled to our aid or sympathy, or needing the services of a Councilor?
4. Secretary reports delinquent members, if any.
5. New applications received and referred.
6. Balloting upon petitions previously referred to Investigating Committee.
7. Initiation of candidates.
8. Communications.
9. Bills received and referred.
10. Reports of Committees.
11. Unfinished business.
12. New business.
13. Has any Councilor anything to offer for himself, the good of this Council in particular, or the Fraternity in general?
14. Brother Secretary, have the proper reports and remittances been made to the Supreme and Grand Secretaries?
15. Closing.
S.C., ***: Brother Chaplain, proceed.
The Chaplain may substitute a prayer of his own choosing.
Chaplain: Our Beneficent Father! Grant us Thy blessing as we close this session, during which we have sought to promote the welfare and interests of our beloved Order. May the good accomplished here grow, expand and reach far to bless many less fortunate than we. Overlook our faults and errors; may we strive at all times to be fair in our dealings with our fellows. May we leave this place better men for having been here. As we separate and go our various ways, may Thy benedictions follow us till we meet again. Amen.
S.C.: Brother Councilors! Our labors for this session are finished, and now in the name of our Beneficent Father, and by virtue of the power in me vested, I declare Council No closed until our next meeting, when it will be opened in the name of Unity, Charity and Temperance. *
Degree of Order
S.C.: Brother Page! Ascertain and report if any candidates are in waiting to receive the degree of the Order.
Page, after going to the ante-room, standing at salute in front of the altar: Brother Senior Counselor! I find candidates in the ante-room awaiting initiation.
S.C.: Brother Secretary-Treasurer! Have they complied with all of the constitutional requirements for admission into this Order?
Secty.-Treas.: They have. Previous to this the Secy-Treas. should have collected the fees and had the candidates fill out and sign the application blank.
S.C.: Brother Page! You will request the Sentinel to prepare the candidates and when so prepared, give the proper alarm.
S.C.: Brother Councilors! We are now ready to engage in the solemn ceremonies of initiation. These rites were intended by the founders of this Order to teach the candidates the beauties of Unity, Charity and Temperance; therefore, we should make them both solemn and impressive; solemn, because the sacred word of God permeates their every part; impressive, that the lessons which they teach us shall sink deeply into the heart of the candidate.
Hence, let every officer perform his full duty with a true appreciation of the solemnity of these ceremonies, and every Councilor assist in due performance of the same.
The candidate will be led to the door of the Council Chamber by the Sentinel who will make an alarm of ***   **   * upon the door. This will be answered in like manner by the Page from within, who will open the door and ask: Brother Sentinel, Whom have you there?
Sentinel: An applicant for membership in this Council.
Page: I will present his request to the Senior Counselor and return with his answer.
He closes the door, goes to the center of the Chamber, and after saluting a-la-military, stands at “attention.”
S.C.: Brother Page! what is the cause of the alarm?
Page: The Sentinel has in charge an applicant, who is desirous of being enrolled as a member of this Council.
S.C.: Brother Conductor! You will proceed to the door of the preparation room and, with the assistance of the Page, take charge of the initiation.
Conductor and Page will advance to the front of the altar, salute, and repair to the door of the preparation room.
Conductor, at the door of the preparation room: My Friend! The Senior Counselor has ordered me to act as your companion. You have not yet passed our portals; you have the permission of the Senior Counselor to do so, but if you prefer to turn back, now is your opportunity.
Candidate must answer in the affirmative.
Conductor: Then in the name of the Beneficent Father of All, enter.
Candidate conducted into the Council Chamber and the door closed.
Conductor: My friend! While we are enlisted for certain purposes which will not interfere with those duties we, as good citizens, owe to our God, our country, our families and ourselves; they will nevertheless impose upon you obligations which cannot be lightly cast aside; for our vows are not composed of high-sounding, meaningless phrases; they bind us together in a common purpose, to shield each other’s good name, lighten our burdens in the struggle for existence and link us with bonds of Fraternalism to the destinies of our needy Brothers and to the dependent widows and orphans of our departed brethren; therefore, you will be required to join with the members of this council in a preparatory obligation. Brethren! Arise, and unite in an alliance with my companion.
Senior Counselor gives ***, All repeat.
Conductor: I (pronounce name), solemnly obligate myself to assist the needy Brothers and the dependent widows and orphans of my deceased brethren; observe and obey the laws of my country, aid in caring for the sick and burying the dead. Amen. *
Conductor: You will be attentive to our Chaplain.
Chaplain, rising and offering prayer from his station: Our Beneficent Father, we pray Thee that Thou may open the heart of this candidate that the seed of Unity, Charity and Temperance may find lodgment, and that he may become an earnest and true disciple of these, the tenets of our Order. Amen.
Conductor: Brother Senior Counselor! Allow me to present my companion.
S.C.: My Friend! I welcome you to this, our Fraternal Home. We need the hearty sympathy and earnest support of every true commercial and professional man; yet while we necessarily strive for numerical strength, still we much prefer the sterling qualities of true manhood. You will, therefore, listen attentively while I remind you of the importance of the step which you now propose to take. I shall speak frankly upon matters of common interest between us, and request that you give them your most careful consideration.
You are doubtless aware that if you be added to our number, the reputation, not only of the Order, but also that of its individual members, will be entrusted to your guardianship and keeping. Our Fraternity is made up of individual personalities, and the acts of each affect all: hence, it is of most vital importance that we vigilantly guard our reputation, for does not the book of our laws speak plainly as to this matter?
Brother Chaplain! Read from the Holy Book for the instruction of our friend.
Chaplain, rising and reading: ”He that walketh uprightly, walketh surely; but he that perverteth his ways shall be known. It is as sport to a fool to do mischief, but a man of understanding hath wisdom.
“A talebearer revealeth secrets, but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter. The house of the wicked shall be overthrown, but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.” Here endeth the lesson.
S.C.: My Friend! We will continue with your instructions, and when you shall have learned the three great lessons, Unity, Charity and Temperance, and the cardinal virtues which they teach us, we will gladly welcome you, and inscribe your name upon our rolls.
The Conductor and candidate will now proceed directly to the station of the Junior Counselor.
Conductor: Brother Junior Counselor! I desire to introduce to you my companion, who is seeking knowledge, and who hopes, in due time, to be admitted into fellowship of this great Fraternity.
J. Counselor: Brother Conductor! I cordially greet both you and your friend, and assure you of the deep interest and appreciation we feel in your decision to become a member of this organization. Unity, as you have already been informed, is one of the three great pillars which support this Grand Brotherhood. Many thousand members of our Order are scattered throughout the world. No other organization has better men, in whose bosoms throb more faithful hearts, or who respond more readily to the appeals of the unfortunate and distressed; we, therefore, seek to bind them into one great unit, that we may secure, for those dependent upon us, the greatest possible good, by protecting our mutual interests, concentrating the contributions each may be able to devote to relieving the needy and distressed, into one broad river of helpfulness for those who are entitled to our aid and sympathy, and secure, through concerted action, that which will be impossible if we disregard the cohesive force of Unity. Pause.
Gods word is our guide, and if we measure our lives by that Rule which teaches us that, “Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them” we can not go very far in the direction of error. Let this salutary lesson of Unity find a firm lodgment in your heart, and may a smile of Divine approval be your final reward.
Conductor and candidate will proceed directly to the station of the Past Senior Counselor.
Conductor: Brother Past Senior Counselor! I desire to present to you, my companion.
Past Sr. Counselor: My Friend! ‘We are united in the strong bonds of brotherhood and Temperance is one of the tenets of our Fraternity. We regard it as the sturdy anchor that keeps us true and steadfast at our moorings. Sound mental, moral and physical health depend upon Temperance. Not only are we admonished to shun the evil of intemperance in drink, but, in our language, we also should practice Temperance; moderation should characterize our personal conduct in all ways. The truly temperate person is one in whom the forces of sane control are exerted over every action of body and mind. Thus we are taught to control our angry impulses; place duty before pleasure; resist the glamour and folly of idle recreation when the hours of serious occupation are at hand. Success comes to him whose conduct is temperate under aggravating circumstances; who moulds the smile of friendly feeling upon countenances marred by the frown of impatience and discourtesy. “A soft answer turneth away wrath”; and that hand may be grasped in friendship that was first extended to repel our advances.
Note: The Conductor and candidate will proceed directly to the station of the Senior Counselor.
Conductor: Brother Senior Counselor! My companion has been attentive to the instructions given him; and having learned the salutary lessons of Unity and Temperance, he is now ready to proceed further, that he may be prepared for the ranks of our Fraternity.
S.C.: My friend! I commend you for having been attentive to our lessons on Unity and Temperance. It will now be necessary for you to take upon yourself a further obligation, which is to bind you in your new relation to your brethren. The pledge we gave you regarding former obligations applies equally to this one. With this assurance are you willing to proceed?
Candidate: I am.
S.C.: Before proceeding to take upon yourself the Solemn Obligation which makes you a member of this great Order, the only secret order in the world composed exclusively of commercial and professional men, you will be prepared for the most sacred and important part of your initiation by a most interesting and instructive lecture upon the benevolence features of our Fraternity, entitled “The Ray of Hope”
S.C.: Brother Conductor! Seat the candidate in a proper position.
All candidates will be seated in such a position as to have an unobstructed view.
Lights out. First slide is U.C.T. Emblem.
Chaplain: My Brothers! I will now speak to you regarding one of the greatest privileges and responsibilities of membership in this beneficent Order. In wisdom, mercy and true sympathy there has been wrought into the fabric of this noble Fraternity a form of benevolence which assists in protecting from want the dependent widows and orphans of our Fraternal household. All men indulge in the fond hope that they may leave their loved ones secure against the visits of cruel poverty; yet death, that relentless foe of all mankind, comes often as a thief in the night, cutting us ruthlessly off before our cherished plans are matured. Today our dear ones dwell in peaceful happiness and in the smile of gracious prosperity, trusting to us, in all of their sweet helplessness, manfully to defend them against the stings and arrows of misfortune, but tomorrow the clouds may threaten, the clear skies of their happiness become overcast, and misfortunes multiply. until at last the mother is compelled to look into the eyes of her innocent little ones, knowing not whither to turn in order to provide them with the barest necessities, food, clothing and shelter. When that dark day arrives, the Order of United Commercial Travelers of America comes to her like “a Ray of Hope across a Cheerless Prospect.”
Transparency lighted.
Behold! The bright light from the emblem which has been worn by her natural protector, streams across the dark pathway of her earthly pilgrimage, and the burden of existence is shifted from her frail shoulders to the stalwart shoulders of his brethren of this great Order.
Not with blaring of trumpets is this assistance extended; not with a desire to build up a reputation for ourselves out of the wants of the needy and unfortunate, but secretly, and with sympathetic consideration for the objects of our Fraternal interest; obeying always that Divine injunction: “When thou doest Charity, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth.”
The world knows nothing of these benefactions, yet heart to heart with God, prayers of thanksgiving are uttered nightly by hundreds of grateful beneficiaries upon whom these blessings are falling like manna from heaven.
My Friend! The founders of the Order of United Commercial Travelers of America have given us a Fraternity, builded upon God’s most precious truths. In the fulfillment of those Divine attributes, Charity and Sympathy, we hold that our most sacred trust is the care of the loved ones of our departed brethren. He who cultivates Sympathy and unselfish pity for those upon whom ‘the hand of God has been heavily laid, fills his heart and ennobles his breast with that feeling of love and respect for his fellow-man, which is the very foundation of all that is best in our civilization.
You, here, behold the most precious gifts of God to man, the Mother and the children; “God wished to be everywhere, therefore he created Mothers”. Mother! Oh, what hallowed memories cluster around that sacred name. The one who feels for us, in sorrow, a keener pang than we can feel for ourselves; whose joy, in our happiness, is greater than our own; who hides our faults and infirmities and rejoices in the honors that come to us; she, who is to us, the very embodiment of noble and unselfish devotion. And the children! What gift has God bestowed upon man that he can keep so close to his heart? Their mission is more than that of simply perpetuating the human race; they expand our hearts; teach us the unselfishness of parenthood; fill our lives with sympathy and affection; give our souls higher aims, and call out all of our latent faculties for more extended exertion and enterprise. They bring around our firesides bright faces, happy smiles and tender, loving hearts.: These, my Brothers, are some of the solemn responsibilities that we place upon you: but what of our own future?
For a great many years your Order has not only helped to provide the necessities for the widowed and fatherless, but also for our own Brother Members who can no longer be gainfully employed. Misfortune, sickness and advancing age has robbed many of them of their ability to provide the bare necessities of life. Here again, your Order has lightened their burdens, brought them back from despair to hope and happiness: relieved them from their worries.
Here again, God smiles upon our efforts to help Him do His work upon this earth. Your Order’s Fraternal Benevolent Fund has been serving these needy Brothers and will continue to pour forth sympathetic assistance as long as the need continues.
And our U.C.T. Foundation: created to bring immediate assistance to our members who may be visited by a catastrophe; fire, flood or tornado. This Fund may also be used for Scholarships; extra funds to bolster our aid to widows and orphans and to our needy Brothers.
These, my Brothers, are the responsibilities we place upon you as individual members of this Order. I admonish you to accept them as a most sacred trust. May it never be said of us that we wilfully neglected our sworn duty or overlooked the privilege of ministering to the widowed and fatherless: the needy Brother or to one visited by misfortune; but let us avail ourselves of this happiness, this pleasure of exalting sympathy; expanding our Souls to meet the fulfillment of our destiny as men; aye glad, to sacrifice self for the upbuilding of humanity.
“Be noble, and the nobleness which lies In other men, sleeping, but never dead, Will rise in majesty to meet thine own.
Then wilt thou see its gleam in many eyes;
Then wilt pure light around thy pathway shed; And thou wilt nevermore be sad and lone.”
Note: This lecture should be given orally or with any mechanical speaking device that may be adopted by any Council, in connection with Pay of Hope Transparency, stereopticon outfit, or appropriate movie films, with all lights out.
S.C.: Brother Conductor! You will place the candidate in proper position, before the Altar, left hand resting upon the Holy Bible, right hand upraised.
Conductor: Brother Senior Counselor! The candidate is in proper position.
S.C, ***, approaching the altar and facing the Past Sr. Counselor: Brother Past Sr. Counselor! The candidate is now in proper position, ready to assume our vows; you will, therefore, proceed with the duties of your office.
Past Sr.C. goes to Altar: You will place your right hand over your heart: say: “I”, pronounce your name in full and repeat after me: I promise upon the faith of an honest man, never to reveal the secrets of this Order, nor the nature of any confidential business transacted in my presence within these walls, to any person not entitled to the same. I promise to stand to and abide by the Constitution, By-Laws, Rules and Edicts of this Council, the Grand or Supreme Council, or to any other Council of the United Commercial Travelers of America to which I may become attached.
I furthermore promise that I will not cheat, wrong or defraud this Order, nor a Council of the same. I will help, aid and assist my Brothers, their wives, widows and orphans, should their necessities require, they being worthy: and I being able.
I will defend the character of a Brother Member and the reputation of the Order as a whole, when it is unjustly assailed in my presence. I will use all honorable means in my power to advance the interests of my Council, the Grand and Supreme Council, as well as the Brotherhood at large.
I will defend the character of woman and, the chastity of all womankind shall ever be held sacred by me.
To all of this, I invoke the aid of Him, who holdeth the seas, in the hollow of His hands to help me perform the same, and to keep me faithful and true. Amen.
S.C.: My brother In token of the sincerity with which you have taken this obligation, you will remove your hand from the open book before you, which is the Holy Bible.
Here one verse of “Nearer My God to Thee” may be sung.
S.C.,*: Brother Conductor! You will conduct the Brother to my station for further instructions.
S.C.: My brother! I congratulate you upon having arrived at this stage of our ceremonies and greet you in the sweet name of Charity, the most beautiful of the three graces and the corner stone of our Fraternal structure. As you have doubtless noticed, the badge of the Order is composed of a crescent, with the “Sample Case” suspended beneath and within the points. This crescent symbolizes the letter “C,” and to the initiated signifies Charity, the chiefest of our tenets. In our book of laws, the Bible, we find it written; “And now abideth Faith, Hope and Charity, these three, but the greatest of these is Charity.” And again it is written: “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not Charity, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.” Charity is a generous virtue, whose deeds inspire the utmost pleasure; it springs from the heart, softens the affections and incites to good actions; it brings gratification to its possessor and delights to dispense its bounties in aid of the needy and distressed. To derive pleasure from bestowing good upon our fellow men, is a most excellent attribute of humanity, which can only be manifested in deeds of Charity; in the practice of this moral excellence the charitable man lays up for himself an abundant store of substantial happiness. Those who have received his assistance, stand as monuments of his goodness, and God blesses him with that peace of mind which the selfish and unfeeling can never enjoy.
He lives in the hearts of those who have shared his bounty, and his own conscience assures him that he has discharged the full duties of a man. He is respected by all. His humane acts secure for him the esteem of the rich, while his charities call forth blessings from the poor. His grey hairs are crowned with glory and honor, and he sinks into the grave, obedient to the will of God, attended by the benedictions of all who knew him; with a well founded hope of a blessed immortality.
The following poem may be recited here. See explanation in the appendix.
“Ahou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase),
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace
And saw within the moonlight in his room
Making it rich and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing, in a book of gold.
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the presence in the room he said,
‘What writest thou?’ The vision raised its head,
And, with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered, ‘The names of those who love the Lord.’
“‘And is mine one?’ said Abou. ‘Nay, not so,’
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerily still, and said, ‘I pray thee then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow men!’
The angel wrote and vanished. The next night,
It came again, with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
And lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest.”
S.C.: You will now be conducted to the Past Sr. Counselor for further instructions.

Lecture on Loyalty

Past Sr. Counselor, United States or Canadian flag displayed by the Conductor: My Brother! You have been fully instructed in the three Cardinal Tenets of our Order, Unity, Charity and Temperance, yet there is a virtue, without which it is not possible for you consistently to practice and fully conform to the principles and the teachings of the first three.
As we have been taught that “Truth is a Divine attribute and the foundation of every virtue,” so like unto it is Loyalty.
Without the Cardinal Virtue, this essential element of character, it is impossible for you to be an exemplary citizen, a faithful friend and a dependable neighbor.
With Loyalty absent, Truth can never be present.
Loyalty and devotion to your country’s flag; a cheerful and prompt obedience to its laws; a readiness and a willingness to sacrifice your life in defense of its institutions; is the sentiment that should inspire the mind and dominate the heart of every true and worthy member of this great Fraternity.
Ever remember, that you owe to it the protection of yourself, your family and fireside, and the enjoyment of the fruits of your industry and economy.
The man who deliberately conspires to destroy the government that has given protection and security to his life, family and property, and made him secure in the exercise of his rights and privileges of citizenship, is a base ingrate, deserving of no better fate than that of a deserter from the front lines.
Be true to our country, your family, this noble Order and yourself that when this brittle span of life is broken, you may hear that Divine plaudit, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, now, behold, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joys of thy reward.
Past Sr.C.: Brother Conductor! You will conduct the Brother to the station of the Senior Counselor for final instructions.
S.C.: My Brother! Should you wish to enter a Council Chamber while the Council is in Session, you may do so by making an alarm of any kind upon the outer door; the Sentinel hearing you, will open the door and admit you, after you have given him the countersign of the Order, which is ... This countersign is perpetual, and the same in every Council.
After being admitted to the anteroom, advance to the inner door and give the alarm ... This will be answered by the Page, from within, in the same manner. The Page will then open the door, and to him you will give, first, the perpetual password, which, as its name indicates, is never changed, and is the same in all Councils.
You will follow the perpetual password with your own name and the name and number of your Council, followed by the term password which, for this fiscal year, is ... This word is changed annually, at the regular March meeting.
When these words have been correctly given, the Page will admit you to the Council Chamber, where you will advance to the front of the Altar, and salute the Senior Counselor in military fashion.
Should you attend any Council, other than your own, the S. C. will require of you as an evidence that you have been properly initiated, the sign or the Order which is made by ...
The Senior Counselor will acknowledge your salute with a similar salute in each case.
Should you be without one or both passwords, you will so inform the Sentinel who will notify the Senior Counselor; if you are in good standing, you will be admitted to the Council Chamber and invested with the proper words; otherwise, you will have to pay all dues, asessments, etc., before gaining admission.
Should you wish to retire before the Council is regularly closed, you will advance to the front of the altar and give the military salute; the Senior Counselor will signify his consent by returning the salute. If he fails to acknowledge your salute you will take your seat and await a more opportune time to renew your request.
Honors of the Order
Special honors are accorded to Supreme and Grand Officers, when making official visits, by the Councilors rising, saluting with the sign of the Order, letting the hand drop to the side and standing at “attention” until seated by the presiding officer.
The Gavel
The gavel, in the hands of the proper officer, is an emblem of authority.
One rap: Calls the Council to order or seats it.
Two raps: Calls up the officers.
Three raps: Call up all of the members.
S.C.: You will now repair to the Secretary’s desk and sign the signature book, whereby you solemnly pledge yourself to abide by the Constitution, By-Laws, Rules and Edicts of our Order, as they now exist or as they may be here-after amended.
Secretary: My Brother! You have tonight listened to a beautiful lecture on the benevolent features of our Order. We want you to understand these features and would suggest that you also explain them fully to your beneficiary, that she may know the value they may be to her.
The Widows’ and Orphans’ Fund was created and intended to provide temporary help for widows or orphan children of our deceased brothers. It is a benevolent fund and is not a part of our insurance in any way, but if after your death your widow, mother, sister, daughter or orphan child or children should be in need and without other means of support, this fund may be used to assist them. Application for assistance from this fund may be made to the Local Council nearest her place of residence. The Executive Committee of that Council must investigate the condition of the applicant and if she is found needy and worthy the Executive Committee may recommend such assistance as it believes necessary, not to exceed $600.00 for any one year. If at the end of the year assistance is still needed, the Executive Committee may make a further recommendation.
The Fraternal Benevolent Fund was created to assist the needy Brothers of our Order on the same basis as the Widows’ and Orphans’ Fund. Application must be requested and thoroughly investigated by the Executive Committee of the Local Council.
The U. C. T. Foundation was created to provide immediate temporary help to the Brother Member who is visited by disaster such as fire, tornado, flood, etc. and who is financially in need of assistance. The Local Secretary investigates and determines if a need exists and he reports to the Supreme Secretary his recommendation. This U.C.T. Foundation may also be used to bolster our other benevolent funds, if needed.
Pay your dues and assessments promptly, both as a duty you owe this Order and also your family.
You already know the period of time for which your application and initiation fee pays. Shortly prior to the expiration date you will receive from the Supreme Office a notice of your first installment of dues and assessments which must be paid on or before the expiration date shown on said notice. In case of your neglect to pay by time specified you become delinquent and during such period of delinquency forfeit any claim you might have arising from an accident.
S.C., ***: Now, in the name of the Beneficent Father of all, and by virtue of the power, in me vested, I declare you entitled to membership in this noble Order; a member of Council, Number , holding its charter under the jurisdiction of the Grand
Council of, of the Fraternity, The Order of United Commercial Travelers of America, and entitled to all of the rights and privileges, accruing to you under the Constitution, when your application has been received and approved by the Supreme Benefits Committee.
The Senior Counselor will then introduce the new Brother to the Council.
S.C.: Councilors! be seated.

Installation Ceremony

The officers-elect in charge of the “Marshal,” standing in front of the altar. The “Marshal” is a special officer, appointed by the installing officer, to have charge of the officers-elect during the installation ceremony. It is his duty to see that the officers-elect are properly lined up before the altar, to escort them from and to their respective stations, etc.
Installing Officer: Fellow Councilors! Before you stand the officers whom you have elected to serve you for the ensuing year. Are you satisfied with the choice you have made?
Councilors: We are.
Installing Officer: If any one of you knows of any reason why they, or any one of them, should not be installed into the offices to which they have been severally elected, speak now or forever hold your peace.
The following shall apply to Local Council only.
The installing officer should pause a moment before proceeding; if objection be made to the installation of any duly elected officer, such objection shall be reduced to writing, specifying the reason or reasons therefor. A copy of such reason or reasons shall be mailed, by the Secretary to each member, in good standing, of the Council; and at the next regular meeting of Council shall vote upon the question of sustaining or rejecting such objection.
The installation of such accused officer shall be deferred until the vote shall have been taken upon the objection; should a majority of the Council present vote to sustain the objection, the office shall be declared vacant; should such objection be not sustained by a majority of the Council present, the officers involved shall be immediately installed.
Councilors: We are satisfied.
Installing Officer: My Brethren! Do you accept the offices to which you have been elected?
Officers Elect: We do.
Installing Officer: Brethren! You will each place your right hand on your heart, pronounce your name in full and repeat after me:


I ..., solemnly promise and swear that I will faithfully respect the former obligations assumed by me as a Councilor; I further obligate myself to uphold the Constitution, By-Laws, Rules and Edicts of the Order, and to the best of my ability, perform the duties devolving upon me, in the discharge of the office, to which I have been elected and am now about to assume; and that I will deal justly with my brethren, in the exercise of my official duties, and I shall, at all times, endeavor to be guided by a spirit of fairness and courtesy in my official relations with them.
The installing officer shall call attention to the duties of the officers, as prescribed by the Constitution; he should also give the newly elected officers some wholesome advice and impress upon them the responsibilities which they have assumed, and which they are under the very strongest moral obligation to discharge, faithfully and conscientiously.
Executive Committee: It is your duty to familiarize yourselves with the Constitution in regard to your office. This provides for recommendation of Council Surgeon, examination and approval of bills, except such as may be approved by Local Council, personal action on all claims, examination quarterly of Secretary’s accounts, designation of S.C. or one member of your Committee to countersign all checks, submit at each annual session a report of your proceedings to the Council and assist Secretary-Treasurer in contacting delinquents.
Chaplain: It is your duty to conduct devotional exercises at the opening of the Council; give the charge of your office at the initiation of candidates, and perform such other devotional duties as may be required.
Sentinel: It is your duty to have charge of the doors and anterooms, give the charge of your office at the initiation of candidates, and be responsible for the property of the Council and the proper placing thereof in the Council Chamber.
Page: It is your duty to give the charge of your office at the initiation of candidates; to have charge of the inner-door of the Council Chamber, to receive and introduce visitors, and to perform such other duties as may be assigned to you by the Senior Counselor.
Conductor: It is your duty to have charge of the ballot while your Council is voting on applicants; to have charge of the paraphernalia and arrangements of the Council Chamber for initiation; to give the charge of your office to such candidates; and to perform such other duties as may be required of you by the Senior Counselor.
Secretary-Treasurer: It is your duty to keep a correct record of the proceedings; receive all funds due, giving your receipt therefor; pay all obligations when properly presented, and perform such other duties as provided in the Constitution and By-Laws.
Past Senior Counselor: It is your duty to advise and admonish your brethren; give the charge of your office at the initiation of candidates, defend and maintain the dignity of this Council and preside in the absence of both the Senior Counselor and the Junior Counselor.
Junior Counselor: It is your duty to aid and assist in the government of this Council; in the absence of the Senior Counselor to preside; give the charge of your office at the initiation of candidates, visit the sick, needy and distressed and report thereon at each Council meeting.
Senior Counselor: It is your duty to preside at all meetings of your Council and attend as far as possible all meetings of the Executive Committee, to promptly memorize and supervise the ritualistic work of the Council, and enforce the decrees of the Supreme Council, maintain the dignity of the Order, use all honorable means for the advancement of our interest as commercial and professional men and ‘by your own conduct, impress upon the members the beauties of Unity, Charity and Temperance.
Installing Officer, ***: And now in the name of the Beneficent Father of All, and by virtue of the authority in me vested by the Council of the Order of United Commercial Travelers of America, I declare the officers of Council, Number , duly installed into their respective offices for the ensuing year; and may Peace, Prosperity and the blessings of Brotherly Unity attend your efforts for the advancement of our beloved Order. *
Helpful Notes
The right and left sides of the Chamber are those which are to right and left of the Presiding Officer as he sits at his station, facing the Council.
The Sentinel will attend to placing the tn-colored scarf upon pedestal at Senior Counselor’s station, as well as the gavel upon same. He will see that Altar is in position, and Holy Bible upon same. He will see that the Ballot Box is in proper condition upon or near to Secretary’s desk, and the officers’ regalia at their respective stations.
In case of vacancy in the Past Sr. Counselor’s station, the Senior Counselor will first exhaust quota of Past Counselors present in filling the station before resorting to lay members. Should any regular officer appear later during the session, the substitute will relinquish his position to such regular officer.
All Councilors must, after securing recognition, salute the Senior Counselor prior to addressing him. When addressing an officer the word “Brother” should be prefixed to his title.
The term password can be given only by the presiding officer, except when necessary to communicate it to him by some brother who is in possession of same, and except in the transmission of same by cipher to the proper officers in promulgation of new passwords.
The Sentinel may be allowed to sit in Council Chamber, except when his duties require his presence in ante-room. He will ascertain names and official standing, if any, in the Order, of all visitors, and report same to Page or Examining Committee. He will require visitors to register in a book provided for that purpose. This book should record date of visit, name of visitor, name and number of Council, location of same, highest official standing in the Order, and hotel or other place where sojourning. Should a visitor be without the term password he will make same known to Sentinel, who in turn, will report to Senior Counselor through the Page. Senior Counselor will then appoint an examining committee of three Councilors, which committee shall repair to the anteroom and subject said visitor to such examination as they may see fit, to satisfy themselves that he is a member of the Order in good standing. The unanimous report of such committee being favorable will entitle the visitor to the privilege of the Council Chamber at that session, and the Senior Counselor may invest such visitor with the term password.
The presiding officer, before proceeding to regular order of business, should extend an invitation to all visiting Officers present, the courtesy of a seat at his station.
In entering Council Chamber while Council is in session, should the attention of the presiding officer be engaged, a Councilor may turn at altar, face Junior Counselor, give him the salute and be seated.
It is well to remind the Brothers that nothing should be placed upon the American Flag, the Canadian Flag, or upon the Holy Bible.
In balloting on candidates, the Conductor will place the ballot box on the altar, salute and stand at “attention” until the Senior Counselor announces the purpose of the ballot. Should there be more than one candidate, Senior Counselor can state that they will be balloted on collectively unless there be objection.
Before a ballot on the election of a candidate, the Conductor must pass the ballot box to the Junior and Past Counselors for inspection.
Conductor will then salute and pass the ballot box to each officer of the Council for his ballot, beginning with the Senior Counselor and passing around the Chamber from left to right. He will then return ballot box to the altar, salute, cast his vote and retire three paces to the rear of the altar.
The Councilors will then cast their ballots, beginning at the right of the Senior Counselor, and continuing around the room until all have balloted. Conductor will then pass ballot box to Junior Counselor, Past Sr. Counselor and Senior Counselor in the order named for inspection, when the Senior Counselor will ask the following of the Junior Counselor, and Past Counselor: “How stands the ballot?” If a white ballot, the Junior Counselor will reply: “Clear, Brother Senior Counselor.” The Past Sr. Counselor will reply: “Clear, Brother Senior Counselor.” If more than two black balls appear, Junior Counselor will say: “Cloudy, Brother Senior Counselor”; the Past Sr. Counselor will say: “Dark, Brother Senior Counselor.” Senior Counselor will then report result of the ballot.
The military salute is given by standing at “attention,” hands at the sides, fingers of right hand extended, thumb parallel with the index finger raise the fingers to forehead, the thumb resting over the right eye, pause a moment and drop the hand to side.
When entering a Council Chamber, when the Council is in session, advance to the front of Junior Counselor’s station, turn at right angle and advance to altar.
The Senior Counselor acknowledges salutes, but does not salute officers or members when addressing them.
Hoodwinks are not required when initiating candidates.
The crescent may be formed when the candidates take the obligation.
When a Supreme or Grand Counselor, or a representative of either, visits a Council, the Sentinel shall report the fact through the Page to the Senior Counselor. The Senior Counselor shall appoint a committee, of which the Past Senior Counselor shall be Chairman, who shall repair to the ante-room, escort to the Council Chamber and introduce the visitor to the Senior Counselor.
When the words, “Are you a traveling man?” appear in the key to the Ritual, use the words, “Are you a commercial or professional man?
Every officer, when addressed directly by the Senior counselor, should rise and salute with the military sign of the Order.
List of Candidates
The Secretary should furnish the Conductor with a written list of the names of candidates for initiation, which he should read when introducing them to the Senior and Junior Counselors.
Explanation of the Origin of the Poem “Aboe Ben Adhem”
This poem was written by Thomas Lee Hunt, a native of England, born in 1786 and died in 1859. He became exasperated at the old, bachelor Prince, who was reigning during the minority of the legal heir to the throne, because he had neglected the brilliant court functions and allowed them to disappear completely; thus showing his disrespect and contempt for the ladies.
For daring to criticise publicly the actions of the Prince, Hunt was thrown in prison for two years.
To commemorate this important event, Hunt, deeply impressed by this practical exemplification of gratitude and appreciation by those whose cause he had defended, decided to immortalize that rare virtue, “Love for our Fellow Man,” by making it the subject of a poem. To make the contrast as strong as possible, he chose for the “Hero” of his poem an old Arab Sheik or Bedoin Chief; because the Bedoins, in war, are the most cruel, relentless and bloodthirsty of all known races of men; yet, in time of peace, they exemplify to the highest degree, the ideal host. So great is their respect and so strong is their sense of social obligation, that the drink of a cup of water or the eating of a morsel of bread upon a social equality, renders one ever immune from any bodily danger while in their domain or under their protection.
The following may be repeated immediately after the poem.
The beautiful thought conveyed in this poem is that, though our names be not carved upon the corner stones of some great structures nor written in the memorial windows of churches, and not even so much as inscribed upon their rosters; yet, if we have deep down in our hearts, that real brotherly feeling for our fellow man, which will awaken sympathy and support for him in his hour of need, our Beneficent Father will reward us more richly than he will those who received the honors and plaudits of men but who failed to do His Will.
The ladies, knowing for what purpose he had been imprisoned, showed their sympathy and support by bringing flowers in such great abundance that the bars of his prison cell were covered; they also brought him all the dainties of the season, so that he fared as sumptuously in his cell as the Prince Regent did in his palace.