A copy of the application form can be downloaded here.
The Joining Process
The application procedure may seem tortuous but the Honourable Company strongly upholds a tradition of excellence which is reflected in the rigour of the process. Furthermore, each application must be approved by Court and they only sit four times per year. But it should also be remembered that membership of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners is something quite special.
1. Complete the Application Form
2. Supply the names of your Referees
In the application form we ask you to place the names of members of the Honourable Company who you would like to act as your proposer and seconder. However, in the event that you do not know anyone in the Honourable Company, then simply state the name of a referee (normally your employer). We will then ask them for a reference on your behalf.
3. Application Review
Once we have received you application form and relevant supporting testimonials or references, the application is then placed before the Membership Committee. This Committee reviews the application to ensure that the applicant fulfils the criteria of membership.
The next stage is then to arrange, at your convenience, a membership interview. This interview will be conducted by a senior officer within the Honourable Company either onboard the Wellington or at one of our outports around the country. Again, we are looking for the most convenient time and location to suit your wishes. The purpose of the interview is to pass on information regarding the management and role of the Honourable Company, as well as to check the validity of your application and to sight your Master’s Certificate of Competency, if you are applying for full membership. For Royal Navy candidates it may be necessary to contact the Naval Secretary for confirmation of your Command experience. Once the formality of the interview has been completed your application goes before the Court for election.
5. Declaration Ceremony
The final stage is the declaration ceremony. This ceremony is a formal affair held onboard the Wellington in which you make your declaration to the Honourable Company and your fellow Master Mariners. You are then welcomed into the Honourable Company with an address from one of our senior officers and a glass of something fizzy.
Text of Declaration:
“I [full name] solemnly swear that I will be true and faithful to our Sovereign Lady The Queen and to Her Heirs and Successors. I will observe and keep the Charter and Bye-laws of this Honourable Company of Master Mariners. In all matters lawful, I will be obedient unto the Master and Wardens of the Honourable Company. I will do my utmost at all times to maintain the Status, Dignity and Prestige of the Honourable Company. I will conscientiously endeavour to promote the efficiency of the Merchant Navy as an Imperial Service, and will at any time assist and counsel a Master Mariner to best of my ability, as he shall reasonably require. I will not disclose anything that may come to pass at any meeting of the Court, at which I may be present, to any person who is not a Member of the Honourable Company.
AND I make this solemn declaration conscientiously intending, and being resolved, faithfully and truly to abide by, perform and fulfil the same.”
This may all sound very tortuous method of gaining new members, but in reality it is a very simple and straightforward.