St Michael’s School pupils meet Dalai Lama on London trip

A group of year six pupils from St Michael’s CE School, Pelsall, have more reason than most to remember a trip to London after some of them met the Dalai Lama.

The lucky youngsters had the chance to meet his Holiness, who was enjoying his final day in London at the Houses of Parliament.

St Michael’s School pupil Laura Harman shakes hands with His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Houses of Parliament. Picture/Ian Cumming: (printed with kind permission)

As they were about to leave Parliament after enjoying a tour, they were told that the iconic religious leader was there and they might have a chance to see him.

Minutes later, they spotted the Dalai Lama, who went over to them and shook their hands. An official photograph, capturing the magical moment, is now on the official website of His Holiness.

Pupil Laura Harman, aged 11, who is seen in the picture shaking the Dalai Lama’s hand, said she felt privileged to have met him.

“When I first saw The Dalai Lama I knew that he must be a really important person because he was surrounded by body guards, but I didn’t really know who he was,” she said.

“I feel so lucky to have met and shook hands with him because there are people who follow him all over the world just to see him. Then to see the picture of him shaking my hand on his website was really special.”

Her mum, Tracey, added: “When I found out that Laura had met The Dalai Lama I was really excited for her, and then when I found out that he had shook her hand I was so pleased for her.

“This is something that Laura will never forget and it made a fantastic school trip to London even more amazing”.

Year Six leader Mrs Joy Beddard said the chance meeting occurred when the pupils went on an overnight trip to London.

As well as touring the Natural History Museum, watching the Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre, and sleeping on HMS Belfast, they also saw London from The London Eye and from a boat on the Thames.

Those youngsters who missed out on seeing the Dalai Lama did, however, spot comedy actor David Walliams, who was also at Parliament.

“The residential visit was organised to allow our children the chance to experience the many wonderful opportunities our capital city has to offer,” she explained.

“We could never have anticipated meeting such an iconic religious leader as the Dalai Lama, and the children were very blessed to do so. The children’s behaviour was exemplary throughout and we know our Year 6 children will leave us with many wonderful memories from the visit.”

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