Students from Betikama Adventist College (BAC) in the Solomon Islands had the opportunity to meet Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and heir-apparent to the throne of the United Kingdom, during his three-day visit to the archipelago nation in late November 2019. BAC was the only school involved in welcoming and seeing Prince Charles off at the Honiara International Airport on the outskirts of the capital city of Honiara.
It was Prince Charles’s first visit to the Solomon Islands.
Betikama students Arina Manele and Kimi Waikum accompanied principal Partinson Bekala to a state lunch with the Prince of Wales on November 25, attended by representatives from several local schools.
“Students had the opportunity to greet and shake hands with the Prince,” Bekala said. “I was wearing our BAC staff t-shirt with the Adventist Christian education logo. The Prince easily recognized the logo when I shook his hand, and he asked if I am from an Adventist institution. I said yes. He thanked me for taking the time with our students to attend the lunch with him and other distinguished guests.”
Following lunch, Betikama students joined other school children and members of the public in greeting Prince Charles at the Lawson Tana Stadium in central Honiara, where he gave a speech in pidgin English.
“When he shook one of our teacher’s hands, he recognized our logo and said, ‘You Adventist, you worship every morning and evening?’” Bekala said. “Yes, BAC was truly a witness of Adventist Christian education during [Prince Charles’s] visit to the Solomon Islands.”
Prince Charles arrived in the Solomons on the evening of November 23. It was the final stop on the royal tour, which also took in New Zealand and India.
According to several recent press reports, Prince Charles is taking over more official duties as Queen Elizabeth prepares for succession. Prince Charles is the first in line to the throne of the United Kingdom, which also entails being the head of state of other Commonwealth countries, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and several Pacific and Caribbean nations.