Table of Contents

Roe Fulkerson
  1. Tearing Down Or Building Up?
  2. Each In His Own Tongue
  3. The Builder

Tearing Down Or Building Up?

I watched them tearing a building down,
A gang of men in a busy town;
With a heave-ho and a lusty yell
They swung a beam, and the building fell.

I asked the foreman, “Are these men skilled,
And the men you’d hire if you had to build?”
He gave a laugh and said, “No, indeed,
Just common labor is all I need;
I can easily wreck in a day or two
What builders have taken a year to do.”

And I thought to myself as I went my way,
Which of these roles have I tried to play?
Am I a builder who works with care,
Measuring life by the rule and square?

Am I shaping my deeds to a well-made plan,
Patiently doing the best I can?
Or am I a wrecker who walks the town,
Content with the labor of tearing down?

An Expansion On Carruth's

Each In His Own Tongue

Brethren banded together
Hand in hand for good,
Joined for mankind's uplift,
United in brotherhood.
Each of the band a builder,
Faces turned from the sod;
Some folks call it Masonry
And others call it God.

Roe Parham Fulkerson (1870-1949)

Some of this information was from the family genealogy site at

Born July 11, 1870 at Maryville, Blount Co., TN, Roe was an optician in Washington, DC. Prominent as a Correspondent in both the Scottish Rite and Royal Arch, he was also the founding editor of Kiwanis Magazine. It was in that publication where, in 1924, he published a column carrying the title "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" thereby coining a phrase later used by Boys Town. Roe also coined the motto of Kiwanis from 1920-2005, "We Build." Brother Roe Fulkerson 33º, was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia in 1925. He married in 1928, at age 58, and had a daughter at age 63.

When Roe retired in 1942, some of his friends republished a number of his Kiwanis columns in a book called My Personal Pages. A collection of his convention addresses was published by Kiwanis in 1947, unimaginatively titled Convention Addresses By Roe Foulkerson. He also had a 63-page collection of essays published, titled Our Lodge Portrait Gallery from the several Masonic magazines he wrote columns for; The New York Masonic Outlook, the American Freemason, the American Tyler-Keystone out of Michigan. Brother Fulkerson is the namesake for Roe Fulkerson Lodge #299 in Hollywood, Florida, where he spent his declining years serving in the Florida state legislature before his death, January 10, 1949.