History

The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer has a history dating back to 1922, when seven past-presidents of the Engineering Institute of Canada attended a meeting in Montreal with other engineers. One of the speakers that day was Professor Herbert Haultain of the University of Toronto. He felt that a ritual was needed to bind all members of the engineering profession in Canada more closely together. He also felt that an obligation or statement of ethics to which a young graduate in engineering could subscribe should be developed. The seven past-presidents of the Engineering Institute of Canada were most receptive to this idea.

Haultain wrote to Rudyard Kipling, who had made reference to the work of engineers in some of his poems and writings. He asked Kipling for his assistance in developing a suitably dignified obligation and ceremony for his undertaking. Kipling was very enthusiastic in his response and in short order produced both an obligation and a ceremony formally entitled “The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer.”

The object of the Ritual can be stated as follows:

The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer has been instituted with the simple end of directing the newly qualified engineer toward a consciousness of the profession and its social significance and indicating to the more experienced engineer their responsibilities in welcoming and supporting the newer engineers when they are ready to enter the profession.

The Ritual is administered by  The Corporation of the Seven Wardens Inc./Société des Sept Gardiens 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 have created Camps in various Canadian cities where there are Engineering schools  to do so. The Ritual is not connected with any university or any other Engineering organization; the Corporation is an entirely independent body. The Ritual and ring have been copyrighted in Canada and in the United States.

The Iron Ring, which is now made of stainless steel, 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 obligations. The ring is not mere jewelry, it 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 your qualifications as an engineer — this is bestowed by the provincial and territorial licensing bodies.

Camp 18 held its first ceremony in March 1969 for the first graduating class of engineering students from the University of Calgary. Since that time, over 25,000 engineers have taken the obligation with our camp.