Vintage photographs depicting scenes of the oil-and-gas industry in Seria were revealed to the public for the first time at the Belait District Museum yesterday.
The photo exhibition titled Padang Berawa: A Country’s Legacy was officially unveiled by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin.
Legislative Council (LegCo) members Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Putera Maharaja Dato Paduka Haji Abdul Ghani bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Dewa Dato Paduka Haji Abdul Rahim and Village Head of Kampong Labi 1 Yang Berhormat Hanapi bin Mohd Siput; Permanent Secretary (Administration, Finance and Estate) at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) Pengiran Mohammad Amirrizal bin Pengiran Haji Mahmud; Permanent Secretary at the MCYS Pengiran Haji Mohd Hasnan bin Pengiran Haji Ali Hassan; and Acting Belait District Officer Abdol Hazis bin Haji Ahad were also present.
A collaborative effort between the MCYS and Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP), the photographs will be on display at the museum for two months, where they can be enjoyed as windows to the past by visitors.
Managing Director of BSP Dr Ceri M Powell said that the gallery had started out as an internal project to digitise the company’s old photographs. “These old photographs and records became a labour of love that had helped to create a unique opportunity to share our rich history captured over the years,” she said.
Dr Powell also added that the project is still ongoing, with 30,000 photographs already digitalised and 200 more film reels left to go through.
“We keep unearthing precious gems in this ongoing project, and we strongly believe this legacy should be shared across the nation,” she said. Following the unveiling ceremony, the minister toured the exhibition which explores the growth and legacy of the oil and gas industry in Seria.
For an interactive experience, museum visitors can scan a QR Code located at various points in the exhibition, where they will be directed to a link providing some background to the photographs.
After spending two months at the Belait District Museum, the exhibition will be placed at the national archives, where further plans will be made for its continued display and to complete the stories behind each of the photographs.