Pensioners share good old days

National 2 minutes, 34 seconds


WITH people from all walks of life gathering to experience His Majesty’s 68th birthday parade, a pensioner cuts a lonely figure outside Taman Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifuddien yesterday.

Sergeant (Rtd) Hj Ibrahim Ahmad, 63, was always a regular participant at national events as he was often tasked to monitor traffic prior to his retirement in 2006.

Yesterday, the former Traffic Control and Investigation Department officer was again waiting at the field early in the morning for a different reason this time.

“Coming down to the field every year after my retirement now reminds me of the old times, and it was quite a different view being a regular spectator compared to being a personnel on duty,” he said.

“And today, one of the reasons I came here was because my son is one of the uniformed personnel taking part in the parade and I wanted to watch him even though if it is from afar,” he added.

Recalling the previous celebrations he attended, Hj Ibrahim said one of the most visible improvements he could see was how refined the parade had become, but added that there is always room for improvement.

“I hope that these uniformed personnel can keep doing their best because aside from us Bruneians, people from other countries might also watch the celebration through television,” said Hj Ibrahim.

Another senior citizen who turned up to witness the celebrations yesterday was 71-year-old Hj Mohd Zainin Hj Abu Bakar.

The former employee at the Department of Electrical Services said that even though the parade programme had always been the same, crowds consisting people from all walks of life still gathered in the capital for the celebrations.

Hj Mohd Zainin, who hails from Kg Dato Gandi, shared that the atmosphere had always been lively even during the times when Taman SOAS was still known as “Padang Besar”.

“All the more reason why people flocked together is because these kinds of occasion were accompanied with exciting activities such as the tug of war, which perhaps will be held in the capital soon,” he said.

Hj Mohd Zainin added that he had been a regular spectator of grand celebrations taking place in the capital, where he would usually be accompanied by his wife.

He said that watching the grandeur of the parade in person is better as it made the experience “more alive” compared to viewing it from his television screen.

The senior citizen hoped that the festivities would be filled with more excitement compared to the previous ones.

Sharing similar sentiments was Hj Abd Rahman Hj Md Yusof, 58-year-old retired army personnel who now works as a watchman at Tamu Selera in the capital.

“The celebration came about a month late from the actual date on July 15, but the festive mood remained strong as crowds still gathered in the capital to experience the joyous occasion,” he said.

Being a regular at the parade, he opined that the celebrations had always remained lively with Bruneians, tourists and expats joining, but the celebrations needed “something new” to add more colour and depth.

The Brunei Times