is my melancholy duty belatedly to inform you that on 19 March, 2001
Charles Kenneth Johnson of California breathed his last. He was 76.
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.
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
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.
the IFES membership is no more than a hundred. So what will become of it
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.
meantime, please be upstanding and join with me in singing the Society’s
anthem, which, as you all remember, begins with these moving words:
my true Earth’s face.