People-to-people connections give special meaning to Brunei, US ties: Envoy

|     Aziz Idris     |

UNITED States (US) Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Matthew J Matthews hosted the 243rd Independence Day celebration of the US carrying the theme ‘People-to-People Connections’, illuminating the professional, educational, and cultural ties between Bruneians and Americans last night.

Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman attended the Independence Day reception as the guest of honour at the Royal Berkshire Hall in the Royal Brunei Polo and Riding Club in Jerudong.

Senior government officials, members of the diplomatic community, business executives, US exchange programme alumni, media representatives, and other invited guests were also present.

The ceremony began with the national anthems of Brunei and the US performed by Jerudong International School (JIS) student Shana Holmes and the JIS Saxophone Chamber Group.

The US Ambassador emphasised that many people-to-people connections have energised and created the special meaning in the relationships between Brunei and the US.

These ties were illustrated by the many Bruneians who raised their hands when the ambassador asked who had studied in the US, participated in exchange programmes, or trained with the US military.

The night also saw a presentation of memento by the US Ambassador to the Minister of Education in the form of a T-Shirt from the State University of New York at Albany, where the minister earned his Master’s Degree.

A special exhibition on Bioinspired Sensing Technologies, a collaborative project between Universiti Brunei Darussalam and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the US was also showcased.

ABOVE & BELOW: US Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam, Matthew J Matthews speaks at the event; and the US Ambassador presents a memento to the guest of honour Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman. – PHOTOS: AZIZ IDRIS

The Minister of Education tours the exhibition