In 1925, six engineers at a university in Montreal performed the first Ritual Calling of an Engineer. Herbert Haultain, a engineering professor at the University of Toronto, conceived of the idea of a ceremony because he “felt that an organization 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.”
Haultain recruited Rudyard Kipling, then living in Canada and already known for his respect of engineers, to design the ceremony and oath, the details of which remain shrouded in secrecy.
Since then, new engineering graduates have performed this ceremony in schools all over Canada, and Canadian engineers all over the world have been spotted by the iron rings on our pinkies. The importance of this ceremony, I recently realized, is not in the oath as much as it is in the community that is forged through this unchanging ritual.
About the image: a new iron ring is displayed on an engineering text book (photo: Elisa Prajogo).
I’m going to throw mine in hot flames for a few seconds and check for markings… don’t want the Nazgûl chasing after me…