History of the Company Mess

According to the program for the Boston 1975 National Meeting, the first set of Mess Rules was adopted by the Governors in 1962 and published in MC&H, volume XIV, page 133:

1. Only the President of THE COMPANY or an officer serving in his stead as Chairman of the Mess may propose a toast at a formal dinner. Anyone desiring that a special toast be given must request the President before the meal commences to initiate it.

2. The President will appoint a Vice Chairman of the Mess; normally he will be the member responsible for the meeting being held.

3. At an appropriate time during the meal the President will rise, rap for order, face the Vice Chairman of the Mess, and, when he too rises, lift his glass and say: “Mr. Vice, the President.”

4. The Vice Chairman will then lift his glass and say to the group as a whole: “Gentlemen (or Ladies and Gentlemen), I give you the President of the United States.” The group will rise and drink the toast without comment.

5. Subsequent toasts if deemed necessary will be proposed and drunk in the same manner. Customarily THE COMPANY assembled at a formal dinner drinks toasts to the guest of honor and to the ladies. Three toasts are usually sufficient.

The 1962 Mess Rules were revised by the Board of Governors in 1975, 1981, 2002, and 2003.