Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer, 1925-2000
403443107- Pane of 16 stamps
403443126- Official First Day Cover
Issued: April 25, 2000
Article published in
Canada's Stamp Details (Vol. 9 No 2; March/April, 2000)
Since 1925, Canada's up-and-coming engineers have been welcomed to the profession in a ceremony unique to this country The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer. Canada Post is proud to present a new stamp commemorating the 75th anniversary of this time-honoured Canadian tradition. To be released on April 25, 2000, this domestic-rate issue will be offered in a tête-bêche (head-to-foot) format on a 16-stamp pane, and on an Official First Day Cover.
There's more to becoming a "professional engineer" than obtaining a university degree or working in the field. In Ontario, for example, university graduates who wish to become "professional engineers" must first undergo four years of work experience and successfully complete an examination.
The idea of the calling of an engineer to the profession dates back to 1922. Herbert E.T. Haultain (1869-1961), a civil engineer and university professor, suggested the creation of a professional engineering organization. He also felt that a statement of ethics would be appropriate for young engineering graduates. Haultain then recruited author Rudyard Kipling to help craft a suitably dignified ceremony.
On April 25, 1925, at the University of Montreal, six engineers participated in the inaugural ceremony and were presented with the Iron Ring. Kipling said the unpolished wrought-iron ring "is rough as the mind of the young man. It is not smoothed off at the edges, any more than the character of the young."
Darrell Freeman of Halifax was at the helm in developing the Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer stamp. According to Steven Slipp who coordinated the project on behalf of Canada Post, the ring ceremony provided the inspiration. "Darrell saw the opportunity to create a unique pane design using what is known as a tête-bêche or head-to-foot layout. The half ring becomes a full circle across two stamps, and a collection of rings in the full pane. The design acknowledges the significance of the ring ceremony and recognizes the ring as linking the four major engineering achievements depicted on the stamps."
Those achievements are:
• the CP Rail High Level Bridge at Lethbridge, Alberta;
• the Polymer Corporation's synthetic-rubber plant at Sarnia, Ontario;
• the Trans-Canada Microwave Radio Relay System; and,
• the heart pacemaker.
Today, 160,000 professional Canadian engineers work in five principal branches of engineering civil, electrical, mechanical, chemical and mining continuing a tradition that ranks them among the world's finest.
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