The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer

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What is the The Iron Ring and the Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer?

The Iron Ring is a ring that all engineering graduates in Canada can receive at a ceremony called the Ritual of the Calling of the Engineer.  It is worn on the little finger of the engineer’s working hand.  The ring symbolizes the pride which engineers have in their profession, while simultaneously reminding them of their duty of responsibility to the public. 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. The Iron Ring is not to be misconstrued as an equivalent to a degree or professional status - it is a way of welcoming graduates into the Engineering community, binding them into a supportive organization, and giving them a basis of ethics and responsibility to society.  It is rumoured that the Iron Ring is made from the steel scrap left over from the Quebec Bridge disasters of 1907 and 1916.

Engineering in the early 1900's was very different than what is practiced today. Following the Quebec Bridge disasters, seven prominent professional engineers met with other Engineers to discuss the future of the Engineering Profession. They formed the objective of binding together the profession and instilling professional Engineers with their responsibility towards society. They formed the Corporation of the Seven Wardens in 1922 to accomplish this purpose, and engaged Rudyard Kipling in forming the Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer - a ceremony obligating Engineers to their profession by the receiving of the Iron Ring.  Although the Corporation of the Seven Wardens is not a secret society, the Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer is a private ceremony and is not open to the general public.

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