Sunday, October 16, 2011

Iron Ring

Reference: The Iron Ring Website

The history of the Calling of an Engineer dates back to 1922.  Seven past presidents of the Engineering Institute of Canada (then so called) had a meeting in Montreal with other engineers.  

One of the speakers in the meeting was Professor Haultain of the University of Toronto. He recommended establishing an organization to bind all members of the engineering profession in Canada.  He felt that an obligation or statement of ethics needed be developed to which a young graduate in engineering could subscribe.  The past presidents of the Engineering Institute of Canada were very receptive to this idea.

Haultain wrote to Rudyard Kipling, who had made references to the work of engineers in some of his poems and writings, asking him for his assistance in developing a suitably dignified obligation and ceremony for this purpose.  Kipling was very enthusiastic in his response and shortly produced both an obligation and a ceremony formally entitled "The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer."

The Ritual is now administered by a body called The Corporation of the Seven Wardens Inc.  The seven past presidents of the Engineering Institute of Canada in 1922 were the original seven Wardens.  The Corporation is responsible for administering and maintaining the Ritual and, in order to do so, creates Camps in various locations in Canada.  The Ritual is not connected with any university or engineering organization.  It is an entirely independent body.  The Ritual has been copyrighted in Canada and in the United States.

The Iron Ring has been registered too and may be worn on the little finger of the working hand by any engineer who has been obligated at an authorized ceremony of the Ritual of the Calling of the Engineer.  The ring symbolizes the pride which engineers have in their profession, while simultaneously reminding them of their humility.  The ring serves as a reminder to the engineer and others of the engineer's obligation to live by a high standard of professional conduct.  It is not a symbol of qualification as an engineer which is determined by the provincial and territorial licensing bodies.

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