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Re: The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer (Canada), Order of the Engineer (US)

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> From: "Peggy Dall" <pdall(--nospam--at)>

> Does anyone have any opinions on the "Order of an Engineer" in the US or the
> "Call of an Engineer" (Iron Ring Ceremony) in Canada?  Seems like we could
> all use something to unify us.  I'd love to garner support for this this

> cherished and solemn Canadian ceremony to be more fully embraced in the US.

You're kidding, right? In Canada, it is primarily seen as an excuse for
a major booze-up or stag prior to final exams. After that, it's a piece
of jewelry that we wear to help us identify who is in the club.

The fable suggests that the rings are/were made from the steel of the
fallen cantilever bridge over the St. Lawrence River. It's true that the
bridge fell, twice, during construction and people died. The ring thing
started many years later. So, not likely.

The whole thing was dreamed up by a couple of guys sitting around having
a few beers and the verbage itself was written by a humorist. The
narrative basically says, "do no wrong but don't forget to take the
money and run!"

The ceremony is overtly Anglo-Christian, reflecting the culture of
Canadian University graduates of the era. The ceremony is meant to be
closed-door to enhance the "secret society" or fraternity aura (the
hazing takes 4 years). It is recognition of the fact that you have
graduated but is not associated with the university.

This was strarted in the days when engineers were mostly civies and
mechs and there was little or no regulation. The administering
organization is not affiliated with any organization that promotes or
otherwise enhances or monitors the profession or the quality of the
profession. They have a ceremony, hand out rings and you never hear from
them again. The end. They don't even come for the ring if you fail to
meet the standard.

I wear my ring because it is recognized in a peer situation. I also use
P.Eng. on my business card for the same reason. Five minutes into any
discussion, the ring doesn't matter anymore.

Paul Ransom, P. Eng.
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
<mailto:ad026(--nospam--at)> <>

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