By Azlan Othman
Joy and camaraderie will grip the nation when an array of exciting events begins next week to celebrate the 60th birthday of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.
More interesting and special events than in previous years have been organised with foreign participation such as Brunei International Tattoo (BIT), 'Malam Serumpun Seri 60', International Halal Products Expo and 'Dirgahayu Emas' concert.
Several district-level events have also been upgraded to national events such as Boat Race, Speedboat and Jetski Competition for Brunei-Muara District, Motorcross and Endurance Competition in Tutong District and Borneo ethnic culture show in Temburong.
To kick start the celebrations, a mass Maghrib, recital of Yasin verses, thanksgiving and Isya prayers will be held on the eve of the monarch's birthday. The traditional ceremonial parade at the Taman, audience and investiture ceremony will be held on July 15 with a banquet and fireworks display to follow in the evening. These events are highlighted in the recently-launched royal birthday celebration book, 'Sutera'.
A banquet will be hosted for uniformed personnel on July 17, Knowledge Convention on July 20 at ICC, His Majesty's get-together with his subjects in Brunei-Muara District on July 23 at the Taman, another fireworks display on July 23 at Silver Jubilee Park, acrobatic troupe shows from July 24-26 at the Indoor Stadium and the Brunei International Tattoo from July 29 to August 1 at Hassanal Bolkiah stadium.
Another much-awaited event will be 'Malam Serumpun Seri 60' which will feature a float procession, tug-of-war, cultural show and another fireworks display on August 5 at the Taman in the capital.
The International Halal Product Expo will kick off on August 7 until 11 at ICC, the Royal Concert will take place on August 12 at Jerudong Park Amphitheatre, Thanksgiving and Loyalty to the Monarch Ceremony on August 17 at ICC, Kite Tournament on August 20 at Tungku Beach and Borneo Ethnic Cultural Show at the Civic Hall in Bangar town.
No less exciting in the Brunei-Muara District will be the Asean top-spinning competition from July 28-30 at Pasar Tani, Kayak Race on July 30 at Sg Damuan Recreational Park, Beach Festival on July 30 at Muara Beach, Cleanliness, Landscape and Floral Exhibition on August 3-6 at the ICC and Healthy Baby Competition on August 4 at the ICC.
There will also be Domestic Science Exhibition on August 5-6 at the ICC, High Speedboat Race on August 11-18 at Serasa beach, Regatta and Boat Race on August 13 at Serasa Sports Complex.
Meanwhile in the Belait District, His Majesty's eagerly-awaited gathering with his subjects will be held on July 22 at the Municipal Field in KB, while there will be a 'Gemilang 60' Exhibition from July 23-31 at the Municipal Field in KB, Agri-Food Festival on July 26 to August 2 at the car park of the new government building, Healthy Baby Competition on July 28 as well as Landscape and Cleanliness Competition, both at the Municipal Field.
Other events to be held in Belait are Local and Foreign Cats Competition on July 30 at the Municipal Hall, Water Festival on July 30 at Belait River, Float Procession on August 5 at the Silver Jubilee Park in Anduki, Classic Raft and Cooking, Handicraft Exhibition on August 13 at the KB Boat Club in Jln Sungai.
As for Tutong District, the main highlight will be His Majesty's get-together with his subjects on July 17 at the Community Hall Field, Fireworks Display on July 17 at the area near the Community Hall, High Speedboat Race on July 23 at Sg Tutong and the sale of agricultural products from July 25-30.
There will also be a Healthy Baby Show on August 6 at the Community Hall, Motorcross/Endurance Event on August 6 at an area in Sg Besar, 4x4 event on August 6 at an area near Ma'had Islam, Raft Floats Competition on August 19 at Tutong River and Celebration Fiesta on August 20 at the field of the Community Hall.
Meanwhile, in Temburong District, His Majesty's get-together with his subjects will take place on July 19 at the field of the Community Hall, while there will be a Static Exhibition from July 19-26 at the Community Hall, Agri-Food Fiesta from July 27-30 and 'Rakyat' Fiesta on August 20 at the Community Hall.
- Borneo Bulletin
(11th July 2006)