Table of Contents

Charles Fotheringham
  1. Dedication (Opening poem of his book)
  2. Let's Go To Lodge (3 different versions)
    1. Old Friend
    2. Brother
    3. Son
  3. To A Brother

The 71 poems from Fotheringham's book, Ramblings In Masonry And Other Poems, except for the three listed above, are divided between two additional files, one for Masonic poems, and one for other poems, with a few crossovers to keep similarly-themed poems together. Here is a complete topical index to both of them, with the numbering from their original order in the book. (The three above were numbers 1, 10, 31.)

Fotheringham1.htm : Ramblings In Masonry...

The Lodge and Degrees 2. My Wish 1,4 9. The Grips 2,4 15. He Answered the Call 1,4 16. Remember 2,4 17. Refreshment 3,4 25. Lost and Found 2,4 29. Fraternal Visiting 3,4 30. Past Master's Night 1,4 35. An Appreciation 4
Adjurations 3. Be A Little Kind 2,4 5. Figuring 1 6. The Length Of Your Cable-Tow 2,4 7. On The Square 3,4 11. Friendly Hands 3 18. Why Be Mean? 3 20. Our Precepts 2 22. What Of Your Masonry? 2,4 23. Ancient Landmarks 3,4 24. Service 1,4 26. What Is Freemasonry? 3,4 27. The Secrets 1,4 33. Why Curse? 3 37. Who Am I? - What Am I? 4 44. When I Can Find The Time 2
The Stonemasons 4. Workers 3,4 12. Retrospection 1,4 13. Speculative Working Tools 2,4 14. Not Thrown Among The Rubbish 2,4 19. Rejected? No! 1,4 36. Working Tools 4
Food and Humor 28. The Working Tools Of The Fourth Degree 2,4 32. The Haunted Hunter 3,4

Fotheringham2.htm : ...And Other Poems

Food and Humor (continued) 48. Neighbours 3 60. Dear Madam 67. Homemade Bread
Holidays and Blessings 21. Thanksgiving 1,4 52. Birthday Wish 55. Pax Dei 57. A Wish 61. Saint Patrick's Day 69. A Symphony 70. A Recipe For The New Year 3
Prayers 8. The Greatest Of These Is 1 34. Soliloquy 40. Bless Thy Church 42. My Prayer 45. Let Us Pray 47. When I Awake 51. Forgive 64. Jubilate Deo 66. Young People's Prayer
Pastoral Poems 38. If 39. The Road 41. God's Gift 43. Give 49. Just A Little Smile 50. The Minister 53. Consecration 54. Something Really Worthwhile 56. A Hundredfold 58. Such Is Life 59. To Be A Christian 63. These Three — Worthwhile 65. Our Own Reward 71. It Doesn't Matter (or,) How To Grow
Biblical 46. Judas Iscariot 68. Behold The Man
Patriotic 62. Womanhood

1 Selected by Simon Husker as being Masonic (Book 1)
2 Selected by Simon Husker as being Masonic (Book 2)
3 Selected by Simon Husker as being Masonic (Book 3)
4 Selected by Owen Lorion as being Masonic


Dedication

My Brethren of the Mystic Tie,
Who through life continually vie,
In Honour, Justice, Mercy;
To give, to aid, to teach, to love,
As doth the Architect above,
Those who from grace seem to rove,
In utter contumacy;
To you I dedicate this book,
And hope you take a lasting look,
And note the diagram;
Within the pages you will find
The living thoughts which I have mined,
From out the great Eternal Mind.
Sincerely yours, Charles Fotheringham.

We now have three rather different versions of this poem! What seems likely is that Charles rewrote it for different periodicals over the years. Only the first version presented here appeared in his book, Ramblings In Masonry.
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Let's Go To Lodge

I say, old friend, let's go to Lodge,
Just thinking, it's not right.
We haven't been inside for years,
Let's go to Lodge tonight.

I've paid my fees when they were due,
And helped at charity's call,
But, oh, the good I might have done
At the Masonic Hall.

I feel we should; come on, let's go
To meet the "Sons of Light."
Get out the little cover case
And sport our aprons white.

I want to see the trestle board,
To hear the gavels ring,
And join in with the good old hymns
The brethren used to sing.

I feel I haven't played the game
To Mother Lodge, it's true,
There were times I couldn't go,
But then, those times were few.

I miss the joy of brotherhood,
And wisdom's radiant light,
I say, old friend, let's go to Lodge
And have a treat tonight.

Brother, Let's Go To Lodge Tonight

My brother, let's go to Lodge tonight;
You haven't been for years.
Let's don our Lambskin Apron white
And sit among our peers.

I feel a kind of longing, see,
To climb those creaky stairs;
It'll be a thrill for me
To lay aside my cares.

We'll meet the Tyler at the door
And though he'll hesitate,
We'll hear him say just as before,
"Come in or you'll be late."

I'd like to get out on the floor —
Come on, let's get in line;
I want to face the East once more
And give the same old sign.

I want to hear the gavel rap
The Craftsmen to attention,
And see the Master don his cap;
A night without dissention.

So come! Pass up that picture show,
Or your wrestling bout or fight;
Switch off that TV set! Let's go!
Let's go to Lodge tonight.

Son, Let's Go To Lodge Tonight

Say, Son, let's go to Lodge tonight;
We haven't been for years.
Let's don our little apron white
And sit among our peers.

I feel a kind of longing, Boy,
To climb up those old stairs;
I know we'd get a thrill of joy
And lay aside our cares.

I'd like to get out on the floor —
Come on, let's get in line;
I'd like to face the East once more
And give the same old sign.

I want to hear the gavel ring,
To hear the organ play;
I want to hear the Craftsmen sing
That old familiar lay.

I think the Tyler'd let us in,
Although he'd hesitate,
And then we'd see that same old grin.
Come on, or we'll be late.

Pass up your bridge or picture show,
Your wrestling bout or fight;
Switch off that darned old TV set—
Let's go to Lodge tonight.

To A Brother


Dear Sir and Brother, may I send
To you a wish that will forfend
And keep you in the path that's trod,
Which leads you to your Father, God.

That you and yours, through every strife,
May live in love throughout this life,
That all good things may ever be thine,
Good health and wealth and things divine.

Goodness, peace, harmony and love,
These gifts of God, sent from above,
May sweet drops of mercy's wine
Cherish, and nourish all of thine.

That you may keep God's chosen way,
And smile on fellowmen each day,
To give each lonely heart uplift,
'Tis yours to do, this perfect gift.

God bless you, Sir — to you Salaam,
This is my wish, Charles Fotheringham.

Charles Fotheringham (1895-1978)

The following information has been compiled mostly from the introduction to Fotheringham's book, and also from records generously supplied by the Grand Lodge of Ontario.
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Charles Fotheringham was born in Longbenton, England, about 1895. He earned degrees in Instrumental and Vocal Music. Having served in the British Armed Forces for five years, he then traveled almost a decade on ocean liners as a professional musician. He settled in Ontario, Canada in 1929, and began a teaching career in music. He and his wife Dulcie Pearl, had one child.

We are uncertain of his birth date, but he was 36 when initiated (Jan.8,1931), passed (Feb.26,1931) and raised (May 7,1931) in Port Elgin Lodge #429. Charles served as Worshipful Master there in 1939, and served as DDGM in 1943. During the course of his life, he affiliated with a dozen different lodges, including being charter member of four of them: Ashlar Lodge #701 (1959), Brotherhood Lodge #723 (1972), Cambridge Lodge #728 (1976), and Heritage Lodge #730 (1977). He was still on the rolls of 7 of them when he ascended to that Grand Lodge on High.

R. Wor. Bro. Charles Fotheringham, besides his blue lodge affiliation, was active in the Scottish Rite. He was a member of the Rotary and Lions Clubs as well as being a life member of the Canadian Bandmasters’ Association. Charles was an honorary member of the Chippewa Indian Tribe and bore the name Chief Medwayosh. But his chief interest may have been as an officer of the Rosicrucian Order (SRICF).

Charles Fotheringham died June 24, 1978.

Notes on the poems: Fotheringham published one book entitled Ramblings in Masonry and Other Poems. (New York, [New York]: A Lyceum Book; Carlton Press, Inc., 1970, 91pp.) All seventy-one poems from it have been put online by Joe M. Sanchez at The Masonic Trowel (which most of these were copied from), and the introduction to it is at Simon Husker's site for Salisbury Lodge, along with 34 of the same poems which Husker felt were most Masonic. Both gentlemen apparently got their text from the same source, an Optical Character Reader interpretation of the book. Several parts of poems were mixed when this book was digitized, and we don't have the hard edition to check. OCRs are notorious for typos (the poetic words hath and doth are routinely read as bath and cloth), and in this case also shuffled some page orders, with the result that the first half of a few poems were paired with the last half of a different poem. The results had to sometimes be reconstructed like a jigsaw puzzle. It is hoped that all the typos have been fixed, and the rest of the verses rearranged properly here on the Masonic Poets Society website.

Addenda: With a copy of the dead-tree edition in hand (unearthed in the library of Montezuma Lodge #1, Santa Fe, New Mexico), it has been seen that the original arrangement was comparable to ours, though a bit less rigid, so the ordering in the list above will remain the same, but the poems will be renumbered, and rearranged on the other pages to match their order in the book. But we are now assured that the collection is complete, and all verses are in their correct order.

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