The heavy downpour did not dampen the spirit to celebrate the arrival of the Queen’s Baton in Brunei Darussalam yesterday morning, during ‘The Queen’s Baton Relay (QBR) Walk and Breakfast’ event jointly organised by the British High Commission in Brunei Darussalam, the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC) and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS).
The QBR is a traditional curtain raiser for the Commonwealth Games. The relay began on October 7, 2021, with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II placing her message to the Commonwealth into the Baton.
The baton is now on its 264-day long journey to every corner of the Commonwealth. The Queen’s Baton landed in the Sultanate on the 111th day of its journey.
Yesterday’s poor weather in the early morning meant changes to the schedule, seeing breakfast held first before the QBR Walk at Taman Makhota Jubli Emas.
In his welcoming remarks, British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam John Virgoe said, “The QBR is travelling a remarkable 140,000 kilometres through Commonwealth countries and it is a privilege to be able to be part of the relay while it is here in Brunei Darussalam. This collective journey will ignite hope, solidarity and collaboration as it connects communities, embraces unique cultures and shares inspirational stories.
“The Commonwealth is a unique global institution. A voluntary association of 54 countries which share common values and aspirations. A genuine family of nations. It is an important part of our partnership with Brunei,” he said.
Virgoe said the Commonwealth Games will this year be held in the United Kingdom (UK) from July 28 – August 8.
“It will coincide with celebrations for Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, which will take place throughout 2022. The Birmingham Commonwealth Games is a central part of this year’s celebrations. It will feature thousands of world-class athletes and team of officials from right across the Commonwealth – hopefully we’ll be rooting for our Bruneian athletes too!,” he said.
The games will be broadcast to an audience of over a billion people around the world. The Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 is set to be the biggest, most sustainable and most inclusive Games yet. It will have the most extensive para-sports programme in Commonwealth Games history.
Virgoe thanked the BDNOC and MCYS for their support, adding that he was grateful that high commissioners from Commonwealth countries joined the event. He also wished the very best to all athletes assembling in Birmingham.
The event’s highlight was Permanent Secretary (Administration, Finance and Estate) at the MCYS Pengiran Mohd Amirrizal bin Pengiran Haji Mahmud receiving the Queen’s Baton from Malaysian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Dato’ Raja Reza bin Raja Zaib Shah. The baton’s previous destination before Brunei was Malaysia.
Each participant had the opportunity to carry the baton, including the High Commissioners of the Commonwealth countries in Brunei Darussalam, the Commonwealth Points of Lights recipients and Bruneian athletes.
During the QBR Walk, the baton started its Brunei leg at Taman Mahkota Jubli Emas, passing by iconic landmarks including the Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Mosque. The walk ended at the Dermaga Diraja jetty, where the guests and baton were taken on a boat ride to the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha Bridge and around the water village, as a tribute to Brunei’s national heritage.