Created in 1922, “The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer” is a ceremony for Canadian engineers that express the intent to adhere to a standard of ethics. Each year upon graduation from an engineering program in Canada, students engage in this ceremony and through which receive their iron ring. The ceremony is also open to other professional engineers and engineers-in-training. Historically, no other guests were permitted at the ceremony, but in recent years a select number of invitations have been allowed for close family and friends of graduating engineers.
Creation of the CeremonyEdit
The idea for the ceremony was developed when professor H. E. T. Haultain of the University of Toronto contacted poet Rudyard Kipling in the early 1920’s. Haultain desired to develop a formal ceremony and obligation for engineers in Canada. His selection of Kipling as the writer for the ceremonial procedures was due to Kipling’s extensive poetry about engineers. Once created, Haultain worked with the Engineering Institute of Canada to establish the ceremony and set seven presidents. These seven presidents became the initial seven wardens of the ceremony, known as “The Corporation of the Seven Wardens”. Since the inception, the number of camps has expanded to 26 across Canada, but the ceremony is still carried out by “The Corporation of the Seven Wardens”.
Ethics and SecrecyEdit
As part of the ceremony, students complete the “Obligation”, which is not an oath but an expression of intent to remain ethical in practice. The subsequent placement of the iron ring on their working hand’s pinky finger is designed to serve as a constant reminder of their ethical intent, as the pinky usually rests on any documents that an engineer may sign. Much further detail about the ceremony is unknown, however, as it is largely secretive and engineers are not permitted to discuss the ceremony with others.