Lest We Forget


Compiled by Zainul Akmal Zaini

Oz visitors at Royal Regalia

FEBRUARY 11, 2009 – Australian tourists in the country as part of their tour to Borneo yesterday saw the royal exhibits displayed at the Royal Regalia building in the capital.

Accompanying the Stuart Coaches tour group was Goodmiles tour coordinator here, Managing Director TC Chun.

Led by Stuart Coaches tour organiser Rhonda Moore, they toured the hall on the site of the former Winston Churchill Memorial that had been renamed, modernised and considerably extended.

They were amazed with the royal coronation carriage surrounded by regalia from the royal crowning ceremony, the pride of the Royal Regalia.

They also gained knowledge on the Constitutional History Gallery set up in 1984 as part of the country’s independence celebrations, tracing the history of the constitution and the development from 1847 when the first treaty of Friendship and Cooperation was signed with Britain.

The Australian visitors and TC Chun (far left) in front of the royal coronation carriage

They saw the depiction of the coronation scene at the Lapau in 1968 using models, pictures, words and exhibits including 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’s gold crown, the golden hands (depicted on the royal state crest), the symbolic golden cats and His Majesty’s silver keris, costume and orchestral instruments used during the ceremony.

The visitors saw His Majesty’s early childhood and chronicles, as well as his schooling in the Sultanate, Malaysia and finally at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, United Kingdom, in the gallery devoted to the life of the future ruler up to the time of the coronation.

Rhonda Moore said since her first trip four years ago, she noticed that the country has grown but not a lot and it is still a wonderful country to visit. She said everybody gets so much out of the culture, the way everything happens and the way things are done.

Recalling her first tour to the Sultanate, she said she was taking her group to Sabah and suggested they should come to Brunei to learn its customs and culture.

“When they walked in to the The Empire Hotel & Country Club, they were just stunned. It’s something they have never experienced before,” she said. “It’s a big hotel and it takes time to adjust to these things but I just love it, it’s just beautiful out there, it really is.”

On eco tourism in Temburong, she said, “You are doing a wonderful job there. I think what you are doing is totally on the right track.” – Text and Photos by Lyna Mohamad

Colourful river will become canal route

FEBRUARY 10, 1979 – The busy Kianggeh River in the heart of the Brunei capital is to become a canal as part of a multi-million dollar project by the government to improve the town environment.

Under the scheme, Jalan Kianggeh, which runs parallel to the river, is to be widened while land on the opposite bank will be reclaimed. Also, two pedestrian bridges will be built across the canal.

Tenders for the first phase (which includes the canal work, reclamation, widening of the road and bridge building) are to be called soon, with the work expected to take about 18 months.

The second phase will include the straightening of the upper reaches of the Kianggeh River and the resettlement of the squatters in that area. This phase is expected to take about a year.

The Kianggeh is one of the most colourful parts of the capital, and a must for tourists to stop and take photographs.

It is a constant bustle of river traffic, with the water taxis dropping off and picking up passengers from Kampong Ayer, or as far as Bangar, at the steps leading from the river up to the road.

Other boats are laden with fruit and fish, with the fruit being stacked and sold on the pavement of Jalan Kianggeh and the fish sold across the road in the nearby market.

Boats bustling about on the lower reaches of the Kianggeh River