A Yank Christmas In Scotland
World War II Remembered

Christmas Day. Our new ship, on its maiden voyage during World War II, had been damaged by enemy action. Seventy-six of us, most in bad shape, were rescued by a British warship and put ashore at the village of Portree, Skye, Scotland. Though efforts had been made to find us accommodations, there we were, huddled in the village square, hearing a familiar Christmas phrase, but one with new meaning for us now: "No room in the inn" was the official word.

Americans were believed to be troublesome, and nobody wanted to take us in. As the ship's Captain, I was desperate to find a solution. Then, I spotted a building on the town square with a Royal Arch emblem. Soon I had the name of the Worshipful Master of the Lodge, Neal Beaton. When I found his home and he came to the door, he was hostile.

His opening remark was, "So, you're one of the Americans." No handshake, no friendly voice, no welcome, nothing. However, once I established myself as a Mason, within an hour, every American seaman had a warm room, shower, food, and medical attention.

The whole village turned to us with an outpouring of love and affection. It was simply amazing what Masonry accomplished by means of the local Lodge and the action of two Master Masons.

Illustrious Robert Mac Alvanah, 33
Valley of Fort Myers, Florida