The excitement to meet His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam was reflected on the faces of Belait residents when they joined the district’s get-together with the monarch for His Majesty’s 76th birthday celebration.
Sungai Teraban (Sutera) Association President Haji David bin Haji Kassim, told the Bulletin that despite having been involved in similar events in previous years, he was still excited to meet His Majesty.
“Alhamdulillah, with each passing year and the change that has impacted the nation and the world, I feel happy that I am still healthy enough to partake in this joyous occasion,” he said, adding that he hopes he will be able to continue participating in the get-together for years to come.
Meanwhile, Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP) Corporate Manager Haji Jaafar bin Haji Bakar expressed gratitude on behalf of BSP to be able to celebrate such a momentous occasion.
“The ceremony showcased Brunei’s unique cultures and traditions, and how the kindness and wisdom of His Majesty have shaped the nation’s growth and development.”
Haji Jaafar also noted how the get-together creates an opportunity for His Majesty to meet with Belait residents, which makes the occasion even more memorable.
As for Muhammad Iqmal bin Ahmad, an active member of the Seni Warisan Pelangi Brunei Association (PSWP), he has participated in the ceremony numerous times.
“Being in the presence of His Majesty makes us very happy, and we plan to continue to participate in such get-together events while showcasing silat across the district,” he said.
The joy to meet His Majesty also extended to foreign nationals, as Catherine Wright from Aberdeen, Scotland shared her excitement during the get-together.
Having been a resident before, she is currently holidaying in the Sultanate which happens to coincide with His Majesty’s birthday celebration.
“This is my first time joining the event in the Belait District and it has been absolutely wonderful. There are so many bright colours and it’s wonderful to see everybody out having a good time, especially after the pandemic,” she said.
As it was her first time attending the get-together, she was honoured to meet the monarch and hopes that “His Majesty has a really wonderful birthday. I learnt so much about the monarch while being in Brunei and how much respect the people have for His Majesty as a truly wonderful leader”.
Accompanying Wright was Meryl Plevey, also from Aberdeen Scotland, who shared a similar sentiment.
“The sights here are so colourful and beautiful, and everyone is so friendly. It’s wonderful to see many people today celebrating His Majesty’s birthday. We were in Bandar Seri Begawan at the beginning of the week and it was lovely to talk to the locals about how much they love His Majesty.”
Having seen the Grand Parade last week in the Brunei-Muara District, Plevey noted how different the get-together was from the Grand Parade. “The Grand Parade was interesting, but the get-together ceremony today is different as it is a little more relaxed. I would love to come back to Brunei during the holiday. And if it happens to be during His Majesty’s birthday, I would love to take part again.”