Engineering Traditions in Canada - Calling of An Engineer

Calling of An Engineer

Main article: The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer

In the early 1920s, Professor H. E. T. Haultain of the University of Toronto 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 its undertaking. Kipling was very enthusiastic in his response and shortly produced both an obligation and a ceremony formally entitled "The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer."

Kipling had long been the literary hero of engineers, having published the poem "The Sons of Martha" in 1907. In the poem, Kipling identifies engineers with Martha and her children, who continue to do the chores necessary to keep the household running rather than sit at the Lord's feet.

Although some later engineers would read Kipling's poem as condemning engineers to being second-class citizens compared to managers, those of Haultain's generation were pleased to take "The Sons of Martha" as their defining text.

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