British High Comm marks Queen’s 93rd birthday

|      Aziz Idris      |

THE British High Commission in Brunei Darussalam celebrated Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 93rd birthday at the Indera Samudra Grand Hall of The Empire Hotel & Country Club last night.

The guest of honour was Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, accompanied by his spouse.

British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Richard Lindsay along with his spouse and representatives from the high commission welcomed the guests.

The annual event, which came with a theme of ‘sustainability’, was attended by prominent guests from the public and private sector, members of the British community and Diplomatic Corps, as well as youth leaders and NGO representatives.

Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman, Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar, and Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yusof were also present.

Guest of honour Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong and British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Richard Lindsay with their spouses during the cake-cutting ceremony. – PHOTOS: BAHIYAH BAKIR
Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman and spouse with other guests

The guests entered the Grand Hall, which displayed a replica of London Square Park complete with mock park benches and British red telephone boxes.

There was also a ‘Green Wall’ for guests to write personal messages on sustainability, which will be consolidated and shared with selected NGOs. As a token of appreciation for their contributions, the guests were offered plants attached to the wall to take home. They also sampled a selection of British-themed food and viewed a photography exhibition entitled ‘The Journey of Energy and the UK in Brunei’.

There was also a display of eco-marathon cars from Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) and a virtual reality demonstration on low-carbon gas technology.

“We have chosen sustainability as a theme because it reflects so many of the values which are part of the close relationship between the United Kingdom (UK) and Brunei Darussalam. Over the years we have worked hard to build on those values together,” Lindsay said in his speech.

The high commissioner also thanked Shell Deepwater Borneo and Ben Foods (B)Sdn Bhd for their generous support of the event.

In keeping with the evening’s ‘sustainable’ theme, the Minister of Home Affairs was presented with a set of gifts from the innovative British company Weaver Green: a luxurious soft blanket and a tote bag, completely made of recycled plastic bottles.

Guests also received reusable jute bags filled with a mix of British food provided by Ben Foods (B) Sdn Bhd.

The evening came to a rousing finish with a pipe and drum performance by the Royal Brunei Land Force and 2nd Battalion of the Royal Gurkha Rifles (British Forces Brunei), the double effort crisply depicting the strong and sustainable relationship between the UK and Brunei.