Friday September 14, 2012
Bowled over by Will’s humility
SEREMBAN: Lawyer Eugene Arokiasamy will never forget his three-week stay in Patagonia, Chile, in December 2000 where he had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to interact with Prince William.
The 47-year-old, who received his secondary education at St George's College in Surrey, England, had been sent to Chile as a programme manager with volunteer group Raleigh International.
“During a briefing in London, I was told Prince William would be attending the 10-week expedition but I didn't really think much of it then.
“However, when I personally met him as he was queuing with other participants to make a phone call at the camp, I realised how down to earth and unpretentious he was,” said Arokiasamy, who read law at University of Leicester.
He said he had walked into a hall to see several participants queuing up to make a call home with Prince William second in the line.
“When the first guy was done with his call, the Prince, addressing me as sir', asked if I would like to make a call first.
“Although he was only 18 then, his humility completely bowled me over and he has won my admiration ever since,” said Arokiasamy.
Arokiasamy, now a senior consultant with working experience in the United Nations Development Programme and UN Asia-Pacific Development Centre, said he was told that Prince William had requested other volunteers and participants to address him by name.
During the expedition, he said some 100 participants were required to cook, clean up and carry out chores, including washing toilets.
“The prince never once complained although there were times when they were required to spend several days in a tent during bad weather,” he said, adding that the prince could also be seen cracking jokes with others.
“We had participants who were juvenile delinquents and hooked on drugs but Prince William was comfortable with them. In fact, he worked on projects with them,” said Arokiasamy, adding that the prince was known to be very responsible.
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