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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 July, 2005, 13:13 GMT 14:13 UK
Schoolboy's day with the leaders
Martin Black reveals his experiences of meeting President Chirac of France and Chinese President Hu Jintao as they arrived for the G8 summit.

Martin Black
Martin Black was among pupils who welcomed world leaders

Martin, 12, from Stewarton, Ayrshire, was among dozens of schoolchildren picked to meet world leaders at Prestwick Airport on Wednesday.

The Nether Robertland Primary School pupil said it was an exciting day and great to be part of an historic event.

He also he thinks he gained an insight into the mood of one world leader.

The first I heard about the invitation to meet the world leaders was when the head teacher asked all pupils who might be available to put their names forward.

That was done because it's the school holidays and teachers thought a lot of pupils might be away.

All the names were put together and the lucky ones were drawn from a hat. There were 10 pupils chosen from our school. I was the only boy as the rest were girls.

I was really pleased and excited to be chosen.

When we got to the airport we had to change to get into another bus which was called a 'clean bus' because there had been security checks made on it

We didn't really need to do anything to prepare for the day, we just needed to wear our school uniforms.

Yesterday afternoon my grandpa took me to the school and there was a bus waiting for us.

We picked up pupils from another school and then we went to HMS Gannet at Prestwick Airport.

When we got to the airport we had to change to get into another bus which was called a 'clean bus' because there had been security checks made on it. Police used sniffer dogs to check it out.

From there we went through a security area and a police officer told us all the safety rules.

Food and drinks

We were then told to go to a wee lounge. There were five lounges. One was for school parties, there was one for bands and I think another was for representatives of other countries.

The people with us asked us to watch a short film about safety and it included things like not going round the back of a plane because it is dangerous.

Then we got on a smaller bus to another lounge.

After that, we were taken to a hall and had food and drinks there but we didn't have time to finish them because we were called to meet President Chirac.

Children from another school were supposed to meet him but because we were there rather early we got to meet him as well.

President Chirac at Prestwick
Martin thinks there was disappointment behind President Chirac's smile

When he got off the plane he didn't look too happy but when he came to meet everybody he put on a smiley face.

He did a speech in French and then a secretary told him that there were kids there to see him.

He came and met us and went around shaking hands. I gave him some flowers and he said "merci".

He looked quite pleased even though I don't think he was because he lost the Olympic bid.

After President Chirac went across the runway to his helicopter we had our pictures taken by photographers.

Before we met President Hu we were given white sweatshirts with the words 'G8 Gleneagles 2005' written on them and we put those on.

The president's wife kissed me which I didn't like because I don't like kisses

We were also given Chinese, Scottish and British flags to wave.

The president came in with his wife Liu Yongqing and I gave flowers to her. She smiled at me and I said: "Welcome to Scotland." The president's wife kissed me which I didn't like because I don't like kisses.

President Hu was in a hurry and couldn't shake everybody's hand but he shook mine. He was then driven away in a police convoy.

We went back into the lounge and then we returned to the 'clean bus' which took us back to the first building.

The normal bus took us home and we got goodie bags, which were great.

The best bit of the day was shaking hands with two of the most important people in the world.

It's a very good idea for all of the richest countries to think about climate change and poverty and I was glad to be part of it.




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