Retired Pair Say News is “Best Christmas Present Ever”

It was no surprise that Alan Robinson and Walter Macfarlane

co-hosted a Christmas Party last month. Friends for sixty years, the recently-retired Hawaii residents had made a lifelong habit of celebrating life’s moments together.

The real surprise came towards the end of the party, when Alan and Walter addressed their friends and family and revealed an astounding secret: the lifelong best friends were actually brothers.

Born in Hawaii 15 months apart, the Associated Press reports that the pair first met in sixth grade. Robinson was adopted and Macfarlane never knew his father.

Recently, both men retired and — unbeknownst to each other — began online investigations in search of their family lineage. Macfarlane registered on several genealogy research sites, ultimately discovering a near genetic match with a user identified only as “Robi737.”

Ultimately, it was this username that allowed the best friends to discover their brotherhood.

“Robi737” turned out to be Alan, who’d registered at some of the same genetic research sites as his best friend, picking a user ID that referenced both his nickname and his career as a 737 pilot for Aloha Airlines.

“As a nickname, everybody called him Robi and he flew 737s for Aloha Airlines, he was a pilot,” said McFarlane’s daughter Cindy, in an interview with a Honolulu radio station.

McFarlane reached out directly to Robinson and confirmed his identity as Robi737. From there, the two lifelong friends discovered they’d shared the same birth mother — and were, in fact, half-brothers.

McFarlane and Robinson announced their inspiring secret at a Christmas party last month and the news left their friends and family gobsmacked with joy and shock.

“It was an overwhelming experience, it’s still overwhelming,” Robinson told the Associated Press. “I don’t know how long it’s going to take for me to get over this feeling.”

The two friends-turned-brothers have plans to travel and enjoy retirement together.

“This is the best Christmas present I could ever imagine having,” Robinson said.