Royal Canadian Legion
Initiation Ritual

1961


Opening Ceremony

In the place of meeting, the emblems of The Legion should be suitably displayed; the poppies in a bowl on the Chairman's table and the Legion badge where it is plainly visible to the membership.
Chairman:
The meeting will come to order. Please stand. Sgt.-at-Arms! March on the Colours.
Colour bearers will advance from the rear of the hall down the centre aisle to platform. The Union Flag will be on the right of the party. On reaching the foot of the platform the bearers will turn inward and proceed to the positions at which the Colours are to be deposited.
Whether the Colours are deposited at the foot of, or on, the platform, the Union Flag will be on the chairman's right hand. The member in charge of the Colour Party will give all the commands necessary in the movement.
O CANADA - one verse.
Chairman:
Ere we proceed to the consideration of the business which has brought us together, let us pause for a few moments to think reverently of those of our comrades who by sea, by land, and in the air, laid down their lives for their Sovereign and Country. Their sacrifice will ever inspire us to labour on, to the end that those who survive and need our aid may be assured of assistance, and that the country in which we live, and for which they died, may ever he worthy of the sacrifice they made.
Chairman:
During the silence we will remember Comrade(s) , who has/have passed on since we last gathered together.


The Silence

Chairman:
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them. nor the years condemn,
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,
We will remember them.
All Members:
We will remember them.
Chairman:
Deposit the Colours.
Colour Party will retire.
Please be seated.
I now declare this meeting open for the transaction of business.


Suggested order of business

1. Opening Ceremonies.
2. Introduction of Guests.
3. Minutes of Last General Meeting and business arising therefrom.
4. Admission of New Members.
5. Correspondence
6. Report of the Treasurer
7. Reports of Standing Committees.
8. Report(s) of Special Committee(s).
9. General Business and New Business.
10. General Welfare of the Branch and/or Legion.
11. Special Feature (speaker, film, etc.)
12. Motion of Adjournment.
13. Closing Ceremonies.

Admission of New Members

The Chairman (or the comrade delegated to preside over this ceremony) will request those assisting him to assume their stations.
Presiding Officer requests no smoking during the Ceremony.
Presiding Officer:
Comrade Chairman of the Membership Committee, are there any candidates for initiation?
Chairman of the Membership Committee:
Yes, Comrade Chairman, there are candidates who have been accepted for membership and are now waiting to he initiated.
Presiding Officer:
Sgt.-at-Arms, please parade the candidates before me.
Comrade Chairman of membership, please present the candidates.
Chairman of Membership:
I present to you .
Presiding Officer:
Your application for membership in The Royal Canadian Legion has been approved. Before initiation you will he instructed in the Principles and Aims of our Organization by Comrade .
Comrade:
The Principles and Aims of the Legion are:
"To constitute an association of those who have served in Her Majesty's navy, army, air force or any auxiliary force or service, which association shall he democratic, nonsectarian, and shall not be affiliated to, or connected directly or indirectly with, any political party or organization.
The Legion shall stand for loyalty to the reigning Sovereign and to Canada, for the
maintenance of the basic principles of the Commonwealth, for the development of a national and united spirit, for ordered government in Canada, and while striving for peace, good will and friendship among all nations, will advocate the maintenance in and by Canada of adequate defence, on sea, on land, and in the air, for the discharge of those obligations which rest upon US by virtue of our partnership in the Commonwealth.
The Legion shall stand for strong and united comradeship among all those who have served, so that neither their rights nor their interests shall he forgotten; and that their welfare and that of their dependents, especially the dependents of the disabled, sick, aged and needy, may always be safeguarded."
Presiding Officer:
Having heard the Principles and Aims of this great organization are you prepared to subscribe to them and labour to advance its interests?
If you are, say "I am".
Presiding Officer:
You will now make your declaration of loyalty to our Sovereign and Country, and obedience to our General By-Laws.
The meeting will come to attention.
Presiding Officer:
Say I and state your names
Repeat after me: in the presence of my comrades here assembled, do hereby renew my
declaration of allegiance to my Sovereign and loyalty to my country I promise to be
true to the Aims and Objects of The Royal Canadian Legion - as set forth in the Constitution thereof; to observe its rules and By-Laws and ever strive by all proper means to promote the work of the organization.
And further, I make oath and declare that I am not a member of, or affiliated with, any
group, party or sect whose interests conflict with the avowed purposes of The Legion and do not and will not, support any organization advocating the overthrow by force of organized government in Canada or which encourages or participates in subversive action or propaganda.
Presiding Officer:
I now declare you duly admitted to membership in the Branch of The Royal Canadian Legion, entitled to all privileges and subject to all the obligations connected therewith.
New members remain standing, others please be seated.
Presiding Officer:
Displayed before you are the emblems of The Royal Canadian Legion, which will now he explained to you in detail:
THE UNION FLAG, the symbol of Freedom, the flag under which we have served and under which our comrades fought and died; it is the flag which unites us with our comrades throughout the British Commonwealth, and ever reminds us of our duty to Sovereign and Country.
THE BLOOD RED POPPY of Flanders, immortalized as an emblem of Sacrifice and Remembrance for the honouring of the thousands who laid down their lives for those ideals which we, as Canadians, cherish. The poppy calls upon us to remember not only those who have died, but also those they left dependent, and those who still suffer from honourable wounds and disabilities. The poppy challenges us to serve in Peace, as in War: to help those who need our help and to protect those who need our protection.
THE TORCH is symbolic of Justice, Honour and Freedom for which our Comrades fought nobly and died. We who are left must pledge ourselves to hold it high lest we break faith with those who died.
THE BADGE signifies membership in a great unified organization of Ex-Service men and women, banded together to carry out the Principles and Aims for which we stand. It is an honourable emblem, to be worn honourably.
Presiding Officer:
You are now a member of an organization which is unique in that it is based upon a common service and a common sacrifice. It has to offer comradeship only and asks of its members service, not for self, but for those of our comrades or their dependents who are in need or in distress. It requires you to remember that as you have served your Country under arms, so you should serve in civilian life, ever zealous in any work which will make our Country and our Commonwealth more truly representative of the ideals for which our Comrades laid down their lives.
May you ever remember these great principles and loyally co-operate with your Comrades
for their advancement.
Comrades, it gives me much pleasure to extend the right hand of comradeship and to present you with your Legion badge and a copy of the General By-Laws.
Comrade Sgt.-at-Arms, will you now conduct our new members to their seats.
This completes the Ceremony of Admission of new members.


Closing Ceremony


The Motion of Adjournment having been received and accepted the Chairman should call the Meeting to attention.
Chairman:
Sgt.-at-Arms! Prepare to March Off the Colours.
Sgt.-at-Arms:
Colour Party, quick march.
Colour Party will advance down centre aisle to the Colours and pick up to the Carry.
Chairman:
The business of this Meeting being concluded, let us as we part remember our duty to our Branch, our Comrades, our Country and our Sovereign. May we ever strive to promote Unity and the Spirit of Comradeship, never forgetting the solemn obligations we have assumed as Members of The Royal Canadian Legion; and remembering them, may we ever pray:
All members:
Lord God of Hosts,
Be with us yet,
Lest we forget,
Lest we forget.
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN
Chairman:
Sgt.-at-Arms, March off the Colours.
The Sgt.-at-Arms will give the necessary command whereby the Party will march off with the Union Flag remaining on the right of the line of march.

 


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