Memorable day for Belait residents

Lyna Mohamad & Muhd Farhan Julaihi

Managing Director of Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdb Bhd (BSP) and Shell Country Chair in Brunei Darussalam Agnete Johnsgaard-Lewis extended her warmest greetings and congratulations to 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 on the special occasion of His Majesty’s 75th birthday.

“This year is my first time attending the get-together. I am truly thankful that the community as well as our locals and staff from different nationalities across the world have the chance to greet His Majesty personally.”

She said that strong efforts and action have been undertaken by His Majesty’s Government to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Brunei, which have kept all safe and in turn, have made the celebration possible.

“It is through His Majesty’s determined efforts that Brunei has gained prominence and respect on the world stage in curbing the spread of COVID-19 in the country.”

“As the rest of the world is still struggling with the pandemic, our children are able to go to school and receive their lessons in person. This is truly remarkable! I would like to take this opportunity to thank His Majesty for his great leadership especially in keeping Brunei Darussalam safe from the pandemic.”

The managing director also applauded the commitment of the working committee led by various government agencies and private sectors for making this a joyous celebration.

Kenyan Becky Bleeseed, whose husband works for the Brunei Fertilizer Industry (BFI), was among the public members waiting to welcome His Majesty and other members of the royal family to the get-together ceremony in Belait District yesterday.

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 cutting a special cake to celebrate the royal birthday. PHOTOS: LYNA MOHAMAD, MUIZ MATDANI & MUHD FARHAN JULAIHI
ABOVE & BELOW: Becky Bleeseed; and Hadir with her family

ABOVE & BELOW: Scout member Andrian; and teacher Mohd Rijal bin Andy

ABOVE & BELOW: Hajah Maida with her colleague; and Hajah Miskiah with her family

“I found it really amazing. It was a memorable experience. I was hoping to see the monarch in person, even just passing by,” said Bleeseed.

Meanwhile, Egyptian Hadir said, “I wanted to see His Majesty in person. Before I came to Brunei, I read a lot about how good and popular he is with the local people.”

Hadir is in the country to accompany her husband who also works for BFI.

She said she and her family enjoyed the unique celebration.

Since arriving in the country, she said she has had good experience interacting with the locals as well as the peaceful nature of the country. Scout member Andrian from Perdana Wazir Secondary School said he took pride in being involved in the royal occasion as it was his first time being selected as part of the team to assist the medics. Equipped with first-aid skills, Andrian holds a first-aider’s responsibility until professional help arrives, should there be a medical attention.

He shared that it was something that he looked forward to, especially as it involved His Majesty and the royal family.

He said that His Majesty is a wise leader who is always concerned about the citizens’ well-being and welfare.

Teacher Mohd Rijal bin Andy is no stranger to royal get-together ceremonies as he has participated numerous times in the past, looking after students from Pengiran Setia Jaya Pengiran Abdul Momin Primary School, where he teaches.

“We have about 60 students from our school joining this event. Some were selected, while most volunteered. We only took students from Year 3 and above with the consent of their parents.”

Pandan I Health Centre staff Hajah Maida, who was stationed to oversee the QR Code Scan for BruHealth, also shared her pride to be involved in the much anticipated event. Along with her colleague, she was looking forward to greeting the beloved monarch.

“Despite the humid weather, our spirits were high in welcoming His Majesty and other members of the royal family as only in Brunei do we get the experience of meeting the monarch in person. Daulat Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik,” said Hajah Maida.

Hajah Miskiah, an employee in the oil and gas sector, also expressed gratitude for the opportunity to greet the monarch in person with her family once again.