HM hosts banquet for uniformed personnel

National 2 minutes, 39 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THOUSANDS of personnel from uniformed organisations throughout the country attended a banquet hosted by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in conjunction with monarch's 65th birthday celebrations at the Istana Nurul Iman last evening.

Members of uniformed organisations from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces to the Brunei Scouts were present in full dress uniform on the occasion.

Everyone from the youthful scouts and cadets to military veterans from the four districts had a chance to meet His Majesty.

After an hour into the banquet, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang-Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, as well as His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, went to meet, shake hands and speak briefly to all the invited guest one-by-one.

"This event is something hosted every year by His Majesty for those who are serving and those who have served," said Captain (Rtd) Hj Narami Hj Omar Ali, a commissioner for Brunei Scouts. He and other senior scout leaders were present alongside several hundred members of the scout organisation from the country.

Hj Narami said that he felt that the event was a word of thanks from the monarch as well as a sign of support for what the organisations present do. He said it was also a chance for His Majesty to meet the people, as well as for the younger uniformed youths to also meet the Sultan.

He added that this particular birthday tradition has been continuing since the time of His Majesty's father.

First Warrant Officer (Rtd) Hj Jambol Hj Kahar said that he started his journey from Temburong as early as 10 in the morning. He and 11 other retired soldiers from the armed forces routinely made their way to the dinner every year, just to be able to have a chance to meet with his Majesty once again.

Hj Jambol had served for more than 25 years in the army. Now, 58 years old, he still has deep devotion for the Sultan. He said that the Sultan has done so much for the people, and the people of Brunei, in return, are very thankful for His Majesty's generosity.

"At 65, His Majesty is still very active," he said, and wished a long life to the Sultan and the Royal Family. Nurul Fairuz At-Taherah and Siti Waafi Nabila, 23-year-old Army Cadets, were there for their second time. Siti Waafi Nabila recalled her first time at the palace, recalling the excitement of being able to wear her full dress uniform. "Before then, I had never been to the palace, it was strange," she said.

The two were among some 150 cadets from the four districts. Nurul Fairuz remembered when she first met the Sultan. "I shook His Majesty's hands," she said, stating that the attention His Majesty had given her and her fellow cadets had inspired her to continue serving in the Army Cadets for another year.

Ten special needs students of Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajah Maryam were also able to meet His Majesty. The students were from the centre's scout unit.

The Brunei Times