Brunei's great show of love
By Danial Norjidi

The nation united in a wave of love and patriotism at Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar 'Ali Saifuddien in the capital yesterday to commemorate the 65th birthday of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.

As His Majesty's Rolls Royce turned into the Taman, the caring Monarch was welcomed by the powerful resounding beats of hadrahs, before His Majesty walked up the red carpet to the royal dais, donned in a black and gold royal military uniform.

Joining His Majesty yesterday at the royal dais were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah and His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah.

Following the monarch's arrival, cannons were fired 21 times in honour of His Majesty, before the ruler proceeded to inspect the Royal Guard of Honour, first on foot then on a specially customised open-roofed Land Rover jeep.

The military band then kicked into gear, echoing the sound of horns, trumpets and drums throughout the field as the drill teams of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces and Royal Brunei Police Force conducted their slow march past in time to the music.

The band went silent, save for a single drum, before the music lifted into a quicker tempo, and boomed into a chorus of "Happy Birthday", which emanated from their instruments as the drill teams went into their fast march past, to which His Majesty rose to his feet, raising his right-hand in salute.

As they marched, the uniformed personnel were clearly brimming with patriotism, as was evident from the sweat on their brows and the look of sheer determination on their faces.

A display of discipline and dedication to the monarch and country followed, as the marchers, back in their original positions, bellowed the Daulat three times with a mighty roar, "Daulat Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik!"

A Blackhawk then flew over the Taman leading 10 other helicopters in formation leaving a trail of red, green and blue smoke in the sky, followed by the CN-235 airplane winged by two Pilatus aircraft cutting through the sky in honour of His Majesty.

His Majesty then left the Taman, followed by the royal entourage, concluding the event. - Borneo Bulletin (16th July 2011)