Flat Earth Society
[ Issue 32 ]

The Flat Earth Society fascinates Emily Bronto

Bikwil celebrates the Flat Earth Society

Flat Earth Society

This time Fizzgig takes on the role of dilatory obituarist.  But surely Bikwil readers are too level-headed for a level playing-field?

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From the Back Verandah — Fizzgig


It is my melancholy duty belatedly to inform you that on 19 March, 2001 Charles Kenneth Johnson of California breathed his last. He was 76.

Dwelt on a separate plane, did our C.K. — from the age of eight. “Plane” is right, for he was the president of our beloved International Flat Earth Society.

The IFES, in case you have forgotten, is the direct descendant of the Universal Zetetic Society that began in England in 1832, under the leadership of Sir Birley Rowbotham, and thrived in the 1880s thanks to the heroic efforts of Sir Walter de Sodington Blount. In more recent times the president was Samuel Shenton of Dover, from whom in 1972 the mantle passed to our zealous American friend Charles Johnson and his Australian-born wife Marjory.

Under Mr. and Mrs. Johnsons’ guidance (“the Earth is a disc with the North Pole at the centre”), the Society grew to nearly 4,000 members, but then two tragedies struck. In 1995 the Johnson house burned down, together with all the Society’s records, and a year later Marjory died.

Today, the IFES membership is no more than a hundred. So what will become of it now?

I hear your pain — but fret not. I feel sure that all of us who heed the authentic truth can have every reason for optimism. Somewhere, somehow, sometime soon someone will take up the sacred torch again, and our loyal band of platygeographers will be able reconstitute ourselves in a manner befitting our illustrious heritage.

In the meantime, please be upstanding and join with me in singing the Society’s anthem, which, as you all remember, begins with these moving words:

Flat, flat, flat
is the contour
of my true Earth’s face.

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