An Ode from the Past


At the recent 40th Installation meeting Richard Manton installed his successor Richard Bunt.
A significant and emotional highlight was a poem read out at the Festive Board by our Founder and Father of the Lodge, Michael Green PAGDC.

The fine words were scribed by the late Henry Engelsman PGJD, whose wit and wisdom is remembered by all that knew him. With the kind permission of the family we wanted these fine words to be shared and enjoyed by all:

There’s a missing face in the lodge tonight
No matter how long or hard you seek
There’s an aching void in each brothers heart
And a drying tear on each brothers cheek

There’s a missing voice in the Opening Ode
And a hesitant note on the Chaplain’s prayer
Softly, the organ pedal! Please! We look in vain
he isn’t there.

Where is that Rock? That staunchest friend?
That bastion of one’s deepest pain?
That smile that says “ Courage mon brave
Let me help you take the strain”
In happier times, the warm embrace that
Said “here’s joy we can all share”.
And then that surge of tender strength, in
times of dark and deep despair.

There’s an empty chair at the Festive Board,
And the mood subdued as the hour grows late,

“Absent Friends” strikes a new chord,
And strangely light is the charity plate.
The choicest food lends a sour taste, and
still we strain for his quips galore.
The stomach knot says it is no dream, those
jokes we will miss for evermore.

We are not fools! We know the score!
We’ve read that book and several more
The wisest of us knows not when
The phrase that strikes us to the core
The leveller comes to every man
Silent swift to ease life’s pain
We know that for this lodge will never be the same again