Order of Railway Conductors



No part of the Ritual shall be written, printed or altered except by the express direction of the Grand Division; and any officer or member retaining the same, in whole or in part, after his term of service expires, or who shall, directly or indirectly, expose any of the secret work of the Order shall, upon conviction, be expelled.
The Rituals shall be kept by the Secretary, who shall be responsible for them. When a Subordinate Division ceases to work, the Rituals must be returned to the Grand Secretary.
The word or words used in connection with the lecture will be changed from time to time by the President, to be communicated to the members by the C.C., and the lecture is also subject to change if change becomes necessary.
The President will establish and transmit to the Chief Conductor of each Division a semi-annual password. This semi-annual password will be communicated by the Chief Conductor to the members of his Division, and to the members of other Divisions upon presentation of properly endorsed request from the officers of the Division to which the member belongs. No person other than the Chief Conductor has any legal right to communicate the semi-annual password to any member of the Order, except to the Outside Sentinel to gain admission after the Division has been regularly opened or to the Senior or Junior Conductor when Division is being opened.
Any member known to have communicated the semi-annual password to another member, or any member known to have used such word having received same from any person other than the Chief Conductor shall be deemed to have violated his obligation and will be expelled upon conviction thereof. It is understood that any member acting as Chief Conductor pro tem possesses all the authority of the regular Chief Conductor during the meeting at which he acts as Chief Conductor, and no longer.
The characters shown in the Ritual in connection with the "Word" and "Sign," with the "Lecture" (including the semi-annual password which is transmitted by the President through his monthly circular) constitute the secret work of the Order. There is no key to the secret work. Each character or figure represents a certain letter of the alphabet. Anyone familiar with the "Lecture" and who has the same committed to memory, can readily translate the characters noted above.
In the ceremony of opening and closing, every officer will rise when addressed and remain standing until seated by the C.C.
The raps of the gavel are indicated in this book by an asterisk, one (*) for one rap, two (**) for two raps, and three (***) for three raps. One rap of the gavel calls to order, three raps calls up the members and one seats them.
It is the duty of the J.C. to prepare the Division room for opening, placing the Bible on the altar and the necessary signals convenient to his station.
When all is ready the C.C. takes his station and calls to order by *; when members take their seats and officers present, their places; if any vacancies, the C.C. fills by pro term appointments.



Officers rise when addressed and remain standing until seated by one rap of the gavel.
Bro. A. C.C., when a Division is about to be opened, what is your duty?
To see that the I. S. and O.S. are at their stations and properly qualified.
You will perform that duty and direct the I. S. to inform the O.S. that I am about to open this Division.
Bro. I. S., you will see that the O.S. is at his station and inform him that this Division is now about to be opened, direct him to see that all persons leave the ante-room and to admit no one except those from whom he receives the S. A. P. W. You will admit no one at the inner door until the Division is open and then only those whom you know to be members in good standing. All others you will report to me.
I.S., opens door:
Bro. O.S., I am directed to inform you that this Division is now about to be opened and to instruct you to require all persons to leave the ante-room and to admit no one except those from whom you receive the S. A. P. W.
Bro. I. S., the outside door is secure and the ante-room is clear.
I.S., closes door:
Bro. A. C.C., the O.S. is at his post and the ante-room is clear.
Bro. C.C., the Division is secure.
C.C., seats A. C.C. and I. S. by *:
Bro. S. and J. C’s., you will satisfy yourselves that all present are members of the Order.
S. and J. C’s step forward to the altar, examine and indicate any unknown by requesting them to rise. If not vouched for, any person so indicated must retire for examination.
Bro. S. C., I am satisfied that all now present are members of the Order.
Brother C.C., we are satisfied that all now present are members of the Order.
You will receive the S. A. P. W., grip and word from the A. C.C. and then from all members present and report to me.
S.J. and J. C go direct to A. C.C., who invests each separately with the S.A.P.W. grip and word. After receiving the grip and words from
the A. C.C., the S. C. receives from members on the left side of halt and J.C. from those on right side; when they arrive at the station of the C.C., the J.C.Communicates to S.C. and he to C.C ; they then stand facing each other until seated.
C.C., seats S. and J. C. by *:
Bro. A. C.C., the grip and words have reached me correctly and all present are members of the Order; I therefore declare … Division No.: … regularly opened; Bro. I. S., inform the O.S.; Bro. J.C., arrange the signals.
J.C. places white signal on altar and resumes station, standing.
I.S., opens door:
Bro. O.S., this Division is regularly opened; take due notice and govern yourself accordingly.
Shuts door:
Bro. C.C., the O.S. is informed.
C.C. seats A.C.C., J.C. and I.S. by *.



Bro. Sec., Mr. … has presented himself for initiation, has he been duly elected’?
He has.
Does any brother present know any reason Mr. … should not be made a member of the Order of Railway Conductors? After waiting a moment: Bro. J.C., you will retire to the preparation room, where you will find Mr. …, who has been duly elected to membership in this Division. You will present to him the usual questions, which must be answered by him in writing over his own signature and without prompting; Bro. Sec., you will retire and collect the balance of his fee if not fully paid, and see that his application for membership in the Mutual Benefit Department, together with the proper fee therefor, is ready for mailing to the G. S. & T.
J.C. and Sec. repair to the altar, salute C.C. with sign and retire by way of ante-room to preparation room. After questions are answered, both return to Division room by way of ante room, salute C.C. with sign, Sec. returns to his station and reports, and C.C. presents questions to C.C., who, after examining, if answered satisfactorily, says:
Bro. J. C., the questions are properly answered; you will again retire to the preparation room; hoodwink Mr. …, conduct him to the door, and cause him to give one rap.
J.C. salutes C.C. with sign and retires by way of ante-room and follows instructions: when rap is given on door of preparation room.
S.C., rises:
Bro. C.C., there is an alarm at the door of the preparation room.
Bro. S.C., attend the alarm.
S.C. goes direct to door without saluting, opens it and says:
Who comes here?
Bro. S. C., I have in charge Mr. …, who desires to be made a true and loyal conductor.
Has he been warned of the dangers which will beset his pathway?
He has.
Do you still wish to proceed?
I do.
You will then follow me.
Note: S. C. will lead, followed by C.C. and candidate to the altar C.C. will resume his station, leaving candidate on the right of the S. C. S. C. will then give one rap on the altar and address the C.C
Bro. C.C., I have in charge Mr. …, whose petition for membership has been accepted and who now presents himself to accept the obligation and be instructed in the secret work of the Order.
Mr. …, do you still wish to proceed?
Cand.: I do.
You will then kneel at our altar and take upon yourself the obligation which all members of this Order have taken. If, upon further reflection, you wish to withdraw, you may yet do so. Pause. Bro. S. C., you will place the candidate at the altar.
S.C places candidate at altar on both knees, left hand holding a leaf of the Bible, the right hand holding a punch, resting thereon; C.C. calls up members by ***, then gives ** additional, when the members form in two straight lines on the sides of the room facing the altar; S.C. remaining inside and I.S. remaining at his station. Alter the lines are formed C.C. and A.C.C advance, the C.C. direct to the altar, and the A.C.C. stopping at the lower end of the lines; the members loin hands all around, forming a complete circle with C.C., S. C. and Cand. inside.
My friend, you will say "I," pronounce your name in full, and repeat after me:


I, …, of my own freewill, in the presence of Almighty God and these witnesses,, do solemnly swear that I will never reveal any of the secrets of this Order to any person or persons unless I know them to be members of this Order and in good standing; that I will not engage in the sale of intoxicating liquor while I remain a member of this Order; that I will abide by the by-laws, rules and regulations of this or any Division of which I may become a member, together with the constitution, statutes and orders of the Grand Division of the Order.
That I will not traduce or slander a brother or a member of his family.
That I will answer all proper signs and obey all regular summons if within my power to do so.
That I will help, aid and assist, in any way possible, a brother or a member of his family, to the extent of my ability, whenever called upon to do so and I find them worthy, and that I will give preference to a worthy brother over all others, in making recommendations for promotion and in securing employment.
That I will yield a cheerful compliance to the will of a lawfully constituted majority.
All of which I solemnly swear without evasion or reservation and may I live shunned by all, friendless and forsaken, may I die alone, unmourned, unblest and unshriven, and may my name and my memory be accurst should I ever violate any portion of this or any obligation to the Order, so help me God.
Bro. S.C., you will remove the hoodwink and assist the candidate to rise.
Bro. …: this Sacred Book laying hand on Bible informs us that God created man in His own image, giving him dominion over all the earth and every living thing that moveth upon the earth. If man in other walks of life, possesses some of the attributes of Deity and is responsible in a measure for the welfare of his fellow man, with how much more force does it apply to the conductor who holds the power of death in his hand. To this end, my brother, keep a constant watch for danger signals, not only for yourself and on the rail, but for your brothers, in all circumstances and conditions of daily life, and call the attention of the unwary to the signal warning them of impending danger, and so long as you carefully observe the lesson here taught, you will find yourself surrounded by just such friends as now surround you in this unbroken circle.
C.C. will give candidate the grip, saying:
my brother, may you be always ready to extend a helping hand, and with it this grip, to any deserving brother. The word accompanying this grip is …. This grip is not to be used indiscriminately, and never in ordinary hand shaking; it is only to be used in open Division for instruction, or in examining a person whom you are testing, and then only as prescribed in the lecture.
I will now explain to you the emblems of the Order, which you will observe on the signal before you. The whole is the outline of a car wheel, and represents, generally, that we are an organization of men employed in train service. This wheel is divided into three equal portions, representing the three general divisions of the life of a conductor; first as a brakeman, second as a freight conductor, and last as a passenger conductor;
The first division is red, and is to remind us of the danger of a brakeman’s life.
The second division is green, reminding us of the extreme caution that is necessary on the part of a good freight conductor at all times.
The third division is pure white, and is emblematic of the comparative safety of a passenger conductor, and should also be an emblem of the purity of our lives; the hand holding a punch is a familiar reminder of our daily lives, and should be an incentive to the faithful performance of every duty; the arm supporting the lantern is the strong right arm that should always be extended to aid any support a deserving brother, while the lantern represents the correct life that should always be characteristic bf a member of our Order, and that may be seen from afar, maintaining a steady, uniform light through good and evil report, and should further remind us that while we so conduct ourselves, we need not fear the penalty inflicted upon those who prove recreant to the trust reposed in them by the Order.
The motto of the Order of Railway Conductors is FIDELITY, JUSTICE and CHARITY in Perpetual Friendship. Fidelity in faithfully adhering to the right; careful and exact in the observance of every duty; loyal to the interests of ourselves, our Order and our employers. Justice in rendering to everyone his just due; conforming to the principles of rectitude in our dealings with all men, especially our brothers; just in our conduct, our lives and our obligations as members of the Order and citizens, remembering always that "with what measure ye mete it shall be measured unto you again." "With malice toward none and charity for all." Living as brethren should, each striving to excel in charity to our fellow man and brother, bearing in mind that "The greatest of these is Charity."
The sign is given in this manner, and represents the act of …. When entering or leaving a Division you will advance to the altar and salute the C.C. with this sign. The challenge or sign of recognition is given in this manner: …, and is answered in this manner: …. My brother, I heartily welcome you to an Order founded upon the principles exhibited by our motto, and you will receive a cordial welcome from those who surround you.
C.C. returns to station, gives ** when all left Lace, C.C. gives ** and led by A.C.C. members file right, passing in front of candidate, each giving grip as they pass while following is being song, S.C. remaining with candidate. After giving grip, members pass quietly to their places, remaining standing. After all have arrived at places, C.C. gives *.

Brother, now you’re of our Order,
Safely you have just passed through.
May you always prove a Brother,
Always faithful, always true.
CHORUS: welcome now to you, thrice welcome,
we now take you by the hand;
As a brother now we greet you,
All as brothers now we stand.
And when we are near life’s journey,
"Time" is up and we must go,
May the lamp of Christ our Saviour,
Light us on our last trip through.
CHORUS: welcome now to you, &c.
Bro. …, the movements of the members in a Division room are controlled by the gavel; three raps call them to their feet; one rap seats them. It has been customary in all ages for men to associate themselves together for protection and mutual benefit; in order to receive benefit from such association and to prevent fraud and imposition, it is necessary that members should be able to recognize each other and detect at once those who are not members. It is imperatively necessary that the means adopted by us for this purpose be sacredly guarded by the members, and we earnestly hope that you may be so convinced of this necessity that you will perfect yourself, and that no portion may ever become known to outsiders through any inadvertence or neglect on your part; and remember that the severance of your connection with the Order does not release you from your obligation to us, to keep inviolable these things. The means adopted by the Order of Railway Conductors to effect this purpose is a dialogue known as "The Lecture," which will be recited for your benefit. The S.C. will conduct you to a seat.
Lecture is now repeated between C.C. and A.C.C. standing in front of Candidate.
Bro. …, it will be necessary for you to commit this lecture to memory in order to prove yourself a member of the Order and before a Division card can be ordered for you. We hope you will be a regular attendant at our Division meetings. Should you wish to gain admission after the Division is opened, make any alarm on the outside door, which will be opened by the outside sentinel; to him you will give the S. A. P. W., which is … and which must never be used except to gain admission to a Division room or to prove your right to sit there. This will at all times admit you to the anteroom; after being admitted to the ante-room, clothe yourself in regalia (if one is used) and make any alarm on the inner door to attract the attention of the inside sentinel; if he knows you and knows you to be a member in good standing, he will admit you. If he does not know you, he will report to the A.C.C., when, if known or vouched for, you will be admitted; if not, the proper officer will be sent to examine you and administer to you the test oath. Bear in mind that you are not entitled to sit in any Division unless you are in possession of the current S. A. P. W.
No person other than the Chief Conductor has any legal right to communicate the semi-annual password to you or to any member of the Order. Any member known to have communicated the semi-annual password to another member, or any member known to have used such word having received same from any person other than the Chief Conductor, shall be deemed to have violated his obligation and will be expelled upon conviction thereof.


Brothers, I am about to close this Division, Bro. Secretary, have you prepared report of this meeting for the G. S. and T.
Sec. replies, and if report not made out, C.C. will instruct that it be done before leaving the hall.
C.C., calls up members by ***:
Let us invoke the blessing of the Most High.


Our Heavenly Father, we implore Thy divine blessing on the proceedings of this day; be with us through life, and when it pleases Thee to call us hence, may we be permitted to assemble around Thy throne, a happy and united Order, elected to share the joys of life eternal in the Heavens. Hear us and bless us for the Redeemer’s sake, Amen.
After prayer one of the following songs may be sung.

Brothers? with pleasure let us part.
Since we are of one mind and heart,
Nor length of bouis or distant place
Can ever break these bonds of grace.
Then let us as true brothers part,
And eves act true friendship’s part,
Remember that we must all be,
Both heart and hand in unity
Brothers, once more before we part,
Our voices let us raise,
To Him, who searches every heart
And guards us all our days,
Let us, before we go from here,
Our promises renew, where’er we go, where’er we are
Stand to each other true.
As we go forth to duty’s call,
Let this our motto be
"Perpetual friendship" unto all,
Who claims the O.R.C.
Let us, before we go from here
Our promises renew; where’er we go, where’er we are,
Stand to each other true.
Brothers, may we each and all keep ever in mind our motto, and the principles of FIDELITY, JUSTICE and CHARITY in PERPETUAL FRIENDSHIP ever dwell with and bless you. I now declare this Division closed until the next regular meeting unless specially convened, in which case due and timely notice will be given.*
Members must remain in line and quiet until Division is dismissed by C.C. with *.