Improved Order of Lions
Instructions to the Grand Master
The Grand Master shall call the
Den to order promptly at the time appointed and fill all vacancies in the
Stations by pro tempo appointments.
In the absence of the Grand
Master, the Master will assume his duties. In the absence of both the Grand
Master and the Master, the King shall be the next officer to preside.
The presiding officer should see
that everything is in readiness before opening.
No motion or suggestion to
adjourn shall be in order without the regular opening and closing ceremonies
when quorum is present.
Every effort should be made to
transact all business and initiation and close by 10:00 o’clock. The presiding
officer should not allow his meeting to lag or any long-drawn-out, unnecessary
The Grand Master should see that
each officer commits to memory his part of the Ritualistic work within a
reasonable time. He should see that silence is observed by all present during
the time the Ritualistic Work is being conducted, especially the Obligation.
When the Den is in its formation,
or working under dispensation from the Supreme Den, the Grand Master and all
other officers should follow the instructions of and give the fullest
co-operation to the Supreme Den’s Representative, who is especially trained
and bonded for this work.
Grand Master calls Den to its
feet: In the name of the Supreme Den, Improved Order of
Lions, Den ... Number ... will now come to order. All persons who are not duly
qualified members, in good standing, of the Improved Order of Lions will retire
to the ante-room. The officers will clothe themselves in their proper regalia
and take their respective Stations.
The Master will see that the Inner and Outer Doors
are closed and properly guarded.
Master: Grand Master, your order has been obeyed.
Grand Master: Overseer, you will ascertain if all present ha acquired the wisdom that
qualifies them to remain.
Overseer advances to the Grand
Master’s Station, communicates to him the quarterly pass-word, beginning on
his left, he takes up the pass-word. On finding a member without the pass-word,
he reports as follows: Grand Master, I find Brother ...
without the proper pass-word. Thereupon the Grand
Master will request the Brother to report to his Station.
The Overseer having completed his
work, will advance to the Altar, facing the Grand Master, and report as follows:
Grand Master, I find all present duly qualified and
entitled to remain.
Grand Master: Overseer, you will now prepare the Altar.
Overseer: With this cloth of Blue and Gold I drape this Altar and place hereon the
Holy Bible. It is our guide and our inspiration. This is the American Flag,
symbol of Liberty and Justice.
Its colors are red, white and blue, sacredly
blended. Just and true.
To this Holy Banner may we ever be loyal
and true. Flag of our
Country, we salute thee. The
Den, with the Overseer, give military
Grand Master: Overseer, resume your station.
Let each head be bowed in reverence to the Supreme
Grand Master of the Universe, while the Chaplain invokes the Divine Blessing.
Chaplain: Oh Thou Almighty God, Supreme Ruler of the Universe, in Whom we live
and have our being, in reverence to Thy Great Holy Name we acknowledge Thy
supremacy in all things. We invoke Thy blessings on our assembly here this
night. May our every act and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in Thy
sight. Look Thou with favor upon our Order. Our homes and all within our gates.
Prosper our noble Order. Give it peace, harmony and progress. Grant us to be just
and honorable in our dealings with our fellow men, ever practicing the Golden
Rule. Forgive our many transgressions, Bless each member of our Order and those
near and dear to them, and at last suffer us to come unto Thee in everlasting
life. So may it be. Amen.
Grand Master and Den in concert: AMEN.
Grand Master: I do now declare ... Den Number ... Improved Order of Lions, open in due
form and ready to transact any and all business that may legally come before it.
May the spirit of co-operation, helpfulness and loving kindness; of loyalty to
our Order and a sincere desire to help our Brother onward and upward unto better
things, animate and be manifest in every word and deed.
Overseer, instruct the Outer Guard that this Den is
now open in the regular order of business.
Order of Business
1. Calling Roll of Officers and Noting Absentees.
2. Reading Minutes of Last Meeting.
3. Reading Communications and Bills.
4. Proposing Candidates for Membership.
5. Reports of Investigating Committees.
6. Balloting On Applications.
7. Initiation of Candidates.
8. Reports of Standing and Special Committees.
9. Unfinished Business.
10. Introduction of Business and Professional Men.
11. Introduction and Instructions to All Members
Out of Employment.
12. New Business.
13. Good of the Order. (Talks and Entertainment.)
14. Payment of Dues.
15 Report of the Recorder on All Monies Collected Since Last Meeting.
16. Report of the Treasurer of All Monies Received
and Budgeting of Same.
17. Report of Educational Board.
18. Closing Exercises.
Grand Master: Overseer, you will now ascertain if any candidates are in waiting.
Overseer approaches the Altar,
gives the retiring sign and proceeds to the ante-room, secure the number of
candidates in waiting and returns.
Overseer: Grand Master, I find in waiting ... Strangers, who desire to become
members of our Den.
Grand Master: Captain, you will now ascertain the names of those in waiting and report
to this Station.
The Captain gives the proper
sign, retires and secures the names and reports.
Captain: Grand Master, I find in waiting ... (give
names) who have fully qualified for admittance and desire to become
members of the Improved Order of Lions.
Grand Master: Recorder, (or Director of Organization,) have these candidates paid the
Recorder: Grand Master, they have.
Grand Master: Recorder, (or Director of Organization,) have ante-room and propound the
necessary questions, after which the Captain will report while the Overseer
prepares the candidates for initiation.
The Overseer and Captain retire
to the ante-room.
The Overseer checks the list of
candidates, while the Captain forms them into line, then the Captain proceeds as
follows: Friends, in seeking to gain membership in a Den of
the Improved Order of Lions it will be necessary for you to answer the questions
I will now ask you:
Do you believe in a Supreme Being?
Are you addicted to the intemperate use of drugs or
Are you willing to practice business co-operation
in the interest of yourself and the members of the Improved Order of Lions?
Are you willing to take upon yourself an obligation
to never reveal the secrets of this Order, and to abide by the Laws of our Order
as provided in the Constitution and By-Laws?
It is well, my friends, I assure you that our
Obligation will in no wise conflict with the duty you owe your home,
your Country, or your God.
The answers being satisfactory,
the Captain says, addressing the candidates:
Your answers having been satisfactory, the Overseer will now see that you
are properly prepared for advancement into the mysteries of the Improved Order
The Overseer places the
candidates in single file with right hand on left shoulder of the candidate in
front of him. The Captain reports to the Grand Master: Grand Master, I have propounded the necessary questions and the
candidates are prepared and ready for advancement.
Grand Master: Captain, retire to the ante-room and assist the Overseer in presenting
Captain: Overseer, you will present the candidates to the Grand Master.
The Overseer presents the
candidates at the Altar, facing the Grand Master’s Station, and reports: Grand Master, by order of the Captain, I present to you these strangers,
who have qualified for advancement and desire to become members of this Den of
the Improved Order of Lions.
Grand Master: Strangers, your names for membership in this Den of the Improved Order of
Lions was approved by honorable members of this Den, after which you were duly
elected by secret ballot. You are to be congratulated because of your selection.
Our Den is composed only of worthy men of noble principles, and sincere
purposes. Men who are ever ready to assist their Brother, socially,
intellectually, commercially; therefore, I caution you that as you advance, in
becoming a member of this Progressive Order, be ever alert to comprehend its
precepts and principles, that your membership may be of greater value to our
Order and that we may be of service to you.
In behalf of the membership of this Den of the
Improved Order of Lions, I welcome you, and in doing so it becomes my duty to
inform you that our Order is founded upon the Holy Bible. Our Ritualistic
teachings are not cloaked in mystery, nor based upon the ancient traditions of
some forgotten age. Our teachings are modern and based upon the practical and
worthy things of life.
Our Order requires each person seeking membership
to take a solemn and binding Obligation, which binds you to the Improved Order
of Lions, and to eternal loyalty. Let me assure you that there is nothing in our
Obligation that will in any wise conflict with the duty you owe to your Country,
or your God. Therefore I admonish yuo to take this Obligation without any
reservation or secret evasion of mind, whatsoever.
Grand Master: Overseer, conduct these strangers to the Chaplain for the Obligation.
Overseer: Chaplain, by order of the Grand Master, I present these strangers for the
Chaplain: Strangers, you stand at the Altar in the presence of Almighty God and the
members of the improved Order of Lions here assembled. You have promised to take
upon yourselves a sacred and binding Obligation, to hold forever the precepts
and principles of our Noble Order, and never to reveal in any manner our
secrets and signs to any person or persons not lawfully entitled to receive the
Strangers, our Order is the parent Lion
organization, incorporated on July 28th, 1930, at Bradenton, Florida, by worthy
and honorable men, upon my assurance that our Obligation was designed for your
own personal welfare and financial benefit, and will in no wise conflict with
your religious or political beliefs, do you promise faithful obedience to the
Candidates answer. Receiving the
affirmative answer the Chaplain continues:
Place your left hand upon your heart, with your right hand uplifted; gaze upon
the Holy Bible, in the presence of Almighty God, and repeat after me, using your
own name where I use mine:
I, (repeats name,) do of my own free will sincerely
promise and swear that I will never unlawfully reveal the secrets of this Order,
that I will be an honorable and upright member of the Improved Order of Lions. I
will be temperate in all my conduct, habits
and dealings in public and private life.
I furthermore promise that I will never defraud or
wrong a member of the Improved Order of Lions, in thought, word or deed,
nor permit it to be done if within my power to prevent.
I will always be mindful of our members’ best interest, socially,
morally, intellectually and financially. In all my business affairs,
other things being equal, I will favor a member of the Improved Order of
Lions in preference to one who is not, I will ever be alert to
recommend a member of the Improved Order of Lions
in his business, profession, or vocation, and I will practice business
co-operation to the extent that I shall expect it for myself.
I will never knowingly violate the sanctity of a
Brother’s home, but will protect his family as I would my own. I will do all
within my power to make this Den most profitable to its members, worth much to
the community and successful in the execution of its program.
I further promise and swear, that I will never
retard the progress of this Order, by causing dissention or otherwise. I further
promise that I will not recommend for membership any person whom I do not
believe to be honorable and worthy.
If proven false to this Obligation I will accept as
my just deserts to be published to the world as a traitor and unfit for
membership with honorable men.
Should I be expelled from membership, I will still
consider this Obligation sacred and binding.
To all of which I pledge my most sacred word of
honor. May God keep me steadfast. Amen.
Den, in concert: Amen.
Grand Master seats the Den. After
perfect quiet is restored the Chaplain proceeds: My Brothers, in the presence of the Supreme Ruler of the Universe and
these members here assembled, you have pledged your most sacred word of honor.
None can give a higher pledge. I trust your vows may never be broken.
You have now become a member of the Improved Order
of Lions. Its teachings are not shrouded in mystery, or its lessons founded on
In seeking membership in this Progressive Order,
you stated your belief in a Supreme Being. It is accepted by all intelligent men
that there is a Supreme Being to whom we owe allegiance. When civilized man
subdued the earth, he found he had been preceded by savage tribes, all having
some form of religion.
When our forefathers founded this great nation of
ours, they placed on the American dollar, “In God We Trust.” We look out
with a reflective mind the vast space of the Universe and see the myriad
millions of stars and our own satelite, the Moon, and we cannot help but believe
the Moon is a fossile world, and ancient cinder; a ruined habitation,
perpetuated to admonish the Earth of her own inpending fate and to teach us that
another home is to be prepared that frost and decay can never invade. No human
soul can be supremely happy without some form of religion. We know not what the
future holds in store for us. Death is not a theme lightly to be broached. We
are all subject to its power. The young may die and the old must die, and the
wisest know not when. We dwell ever in the shadow of death, therefore, my
Brothers, be ye ever ready to sponsor the cause of righteousness; be true to
your Obligation and loyal to our Order.
Overseer, conduct our Brothers to the Master for
instructions in the business principles of our Order.
Overseer: Master, by order of the Chaplain, I present these Brothers for
instructions in the business principles of our Order.
Master: Brothers, at this stage of your sojourn among us, it becomes my duty to
instruct you in the business principles of our Noble Order You have taken a
solemn Oath and Obligation to follow our instructions along this line, and
feel assured in so doing, you will be greatly benefited thereby.
My brothers, ever since the fall of man and the
penalty inflicted by Divine Edict, that “By the sweat of thy Brow shalt thou
eat bread,” man has had one continuous battle and struggle against the forces
of Nature in seeking an existence, and to this end, let me assure you his
achievements, accomplishments, progress and success have only been wrought
through co-operation and organization.
From the earliest times, when the savage roamed the
unbroken forest of an uncivilized word, unorganized and alone, he was an easy
prey for the wild and ferocious beasts of the jungle, but through tribal and
clan organization he conquered the forces of Nature and survived the Dark
Ages, and today we have a great civilization.
The blind force of the people is a force that must
be organized to be effective. Gun powder exploded in the open is non-effective,
but when confined by science and directed into certain channels, it becomes most
powerful. The united efforts of our Noble Order is a power for good in the
interests of our community and our members, when directed by worthy men.
Therefore, by co-operation and unity of action, as
an Order, we can accomplish much for our community. Each individual member will be
benefited and a lasting good can be wrought. “United We Stand,
Divided We Fall.”
Master: Overseer, conduct our Brothers to the King for
in the Educational and Recreational features of our Order.
Overseer: King, by order of the Master, I present these
Brothers for instructions.
King: My Brothers, King Solomon, that great ancient
ruler, builder and scholar, whose name and writings will live as long as the
mind of man appreciates the sublime and beautiful, taught that we should gain
wisdom, and in all things seek understanding. God has bestowed upon each of us a
wonderful gift the human mind which
science teaches us that in no individual, however highly educated, has ever
been fully developed. The human mind, my Brothers, is a precious gift; with it
we can penetrate past events and visit every civilized country on earth. We can
go with Napoleon to Waterloo, or stand with John on the Isle of Patmus, and see
Revelations of God. The Roentgen Ray; the airplane and the radio are the
products of the human mind: therefore, my Brothers, we should prize this
wonderful gift and strive at all times to prove ourselves worthy of its
My Brothers, in this great American Nation of ours,
we boast of the land of the free and the home of the brave. There are thousands
of boys and girls who possess a bright human brain, and who, if given the
opportunity, through this Noble Order, would perhaps startle the world with
their wisdom. It is a matter of history that many of the greatest minds of the
world spring from the homes of poverty. Our immortal Abraham Lincoln, and many
others are examples. My Brothers, it is the business of this Organization to
look after and render assistance to the worthy boy or girl. We have a fund for
that purpose, and your membership in this Order makes it possible to go forward
with this program and eventually accumulate a fund that will enable us to
assist hundreds of worthy boys and girls in qualifying themselves for the
struggle of life; making this Den a living monument to the cause of intelligent
God’s gift to man not only includes a wonderful,
comprehensive mind, but a body no less wonderful. It is needless to say that in
this age of high tension and business anxiety, the business and professional
man forgets the elements essential to a happy life, and goes down to a premature
grave, when he could have followed the well known laws of Nature and scientific
advice and engaged in intelligent social recreation and physical exercise,
that his brain might have been more active, his body more healthful and his
business more successful. Recreation, my Brothers, is just as necessary a part
of your existence as the food you eat.
Our Order is especially interested in the
recreational feature of life; therefore, in the program of this and all other
subordinate Dens, we provide for establishing a home for recreational and
exercises, which are so essential to happiness and success. These, my Brothers,
are two of our many great plans for the welfare of our members, and for the
advancement and progress of every community within the jurisdiction of this
King: Overseer, conduct these Brothers to the Grand
Master for instructions in the mysteries of life and the secrets of our Order.
Overseer: Grand Master, I present to you these Brothers for
My Brothers, I commend you for the Progress you have made in becoming a Lion. As
the Lion is King of Beasts, be thou a leader of men.
As brothers we are banded together for the noble
purpose of helping each other in the struggle incident to success. It is such
gatherings as these which aid in our upbuilding and make us better, more
progressive and wiser men.
A man may be called a man wherever you may find
him, but his approach to ideal manhood is marked by a vast difference, and
especially by that God-Given quality in his makeup called forgiveness. Let a
man bear malice in his soul and no matter how great his distinction in affairs
of State or finance, he faith short of that truly distinguished American who
said, “with malice towards none, with charity to all.”
Therefore, my Brothers, let us not only be
charitable in kind deeds, but inasmuch as we may be of valuable assistance to
each other in our struggle for success, let us ever be ready to recommend each
other to those seeking service in our respective lines and when we succeed in
our chosen profession, business or vocation, we are not only able to care for
our loved ones and enjoy the bounties of life, but are also in position to
assist those less fortunate, and assist in restoring them to the station in life
our Creator designed for them.
My Brothers, Life is the enigma of enigmas, the one
inscrutable mystery of every age, and in the drama of life, all are actors and
no one knows his part. In this great play the scenes are shifted by unknown
forces; the commencement, plot and end are still unknown and still unguessed.
One by one the players leave the stage and others take their places. There is no
pause, the play goes on; no promoter’s voice is heard and no one has the
slightest clue to what the next scene is to be. Will this great drama have an
end? Will the curtain fall at last? Will it rise again on some other stage?
Reason says “Yes.” Therefore, my Brothers, be ye ever ready to meet your
loved ones in the great beyond, where we will be able to understand these
It now remains for me to instruct you in the
unwritten work of the Improved Order of Lions.
In all Dens there is an Outer and Inner gate. The
space between them is the ante-room. Desiring admittance to a Den of Lions you
will give any rap on the Outer Door. The Outer Guard will open the wicket and to
him you will give the permanent password, which is ... This admits you to the
ante-room. You will then approach the Inner Door and give ... knocks. The Inner
Guard will open the wicket, then to him you will give the quarterly pass-word,
which is ... This admits you to the Den. When visiting any Den other than your
own, you may be required to give your name, rank and the number of the Den to
which you belong. On being admitted to the Den, you will advance to the Altar
and salute the Grand Master with the Enter Sign, given thus: ... When answered
by the Counter sign, given thus: ..., you will then take your seat.
If it is not in order for you to be admitted when
you knock on the Inner Door, the Inner Guard will so inform you by giving ...,
in which case you will wait. It is not permissible for you to be admitted during
the Ritualistic, or Initiatory ceremonies. When it is proper for you to be
admitted, the Inner Guard will so inform you by giving ... on the Inner Door,
signifying that the Den is waiting for you to enter.
When you desire to address the Den, you will rise
from your seat and give the hailing sign, ..., at the same time saying “Grand
Master.” Upon being recognized by the Grand Master, thus: ..., you will
proceed with your remarks.
If you wish to cross the Den from one side to the
other, give the Hailing Sign and Without waiting for the Counter Sign, you will
proceed, but never cross between the Grand Master and the Altar.
If you wish to retire from the Den before it is
regularly closed, proceed to the Altar and give the Retiring Sign, thus: ...,
meaning, I remember the teachings of our Order and understand the folly of the
outer world. When recognized by the Grand Master, you will then pass out.
The sign of distress, indicating the need of a
Brother’s assistance, is given thus: ... The answer is ..., but should it be
in the dark, or emergencies demand immediate action, you will use the word, ...,
the answer is ... It will be the duty of every Lion to come to your assistance.
If you wish to hail a Lion in public, you will give the Hailing Sign, ..., the
answer is the same sign, with the left hand. If you should see a Brother in
immediate danger, it is your duty to warn him, in which case you will give the
Warning Sign: ... The answer is ...
If you wish to test a Brother completely, you will
approach him and give him the grip, given thus: ... The answer is ... As a
further test there is a word or covered key connected with the grip, As you hold
the hand you will say. ... He will answer, ... This cover key is composed of the
most potent word of the most progressive Order of the present age.
The voting sign is the uplifted right hand, palm
The Gavel has its meaning and uses: One rap calls
the Den to order, or seats it. Three raps calls the entire Den to its feet.
My Brothers, by the authority vested in me by the
Supreme Den of the Improved Order of Lions, I now proclaim each of you a member
of ... Den, Number ... Improved Order of Lions, and entitled to all rights and
privileges of our Order. Grand
Master calls Den to their feet.
Grand Master: Brother Lions, I take pleasure
in presenting to you these new Brothers, who have just completed their
membership in our Order. Join me in extending the hand of fellowship to them.
The Den will be at ease until we all pass the newly made Brothers, in single
tile, shake their hands, while doing so, each of you will call your name.
Brothers, the Holy Bible, upon which you gazed when
taking your Obligation, is the gift of God to man and is man’s guide for his
earthly conduct. It carries in its teachings that hope of eternal bliss.
My Brothers, upon your honor as a man and with the
memory of that sacred Oath still fresh in your mind, I ask each of you, “Have
you ever transgressed the Laws defined in that Book of Books?” Yes, it may
well be said, “Menu Mene Tekel U-Pharsin;” “You have been weighed in the
balance and found wanting;” therefore it is well to bear in mind that the
lowest and most debased of the human race may readily boast of having violated
the laws of both God and man, but it takes a man of real character and standing,
who under all circumstances and conditions has real courage in all things.
The Lion is the king of beasts. It is strong and
ferocious, and its roar brings terror to the jungle, You have been selected as
honorable men, men who stand out as respectable citizens, men of character, men
who will not destroy the sanctity of a Brother’s home, men who can he trusted
to co-operate on the mutual advantages of all, men worthy of the association of
gentlemen, men who regard an Obligation, therefore, my Brothers, let your
conduct be such that the voice of this Order will bring terror to the criminal
and unworthy, and protection to the weak, and happiness to its members.
My Brothers, the business of this Den has been completed. In going out to your
respective businesses or vocations, you will again mingle with the outer world;
let the spirit of business co-operation, the precepts and vital principles of
our Order animate and be manifest in every word and deed, so will you bless
mankind and assist our Brothers in their struggle for success.
Remember always, that the membership is composed of
honorable men, so be ever ready to recommend for membership those whom you
would admit to your home and share their friendship in the social and business
You will now give attention while the Chaplain
gives the Divine Benediction.
Chaplain: Creator of the Universe, we beseech Thee to make
us worthy of Thy image, and to respect Thy Holy Name. Guard us and keep us as we
go our way. Bless the good we have done in this assembly. Hold Thou our Order in
the hollow of Thy hand and let Thy Blessings rest upon our members and their
families. May we be true to our Obligation and ever ready to assist our Brothers
in their struggle for success, and to Thee be the power and glory forever and
Grand Master: Overseer, close the Bible and
collect the Rituals and Regalia and bring them to this Station.
I now declare ... Den, Number ..., Improved Order
or Lions, closed in due form.