Her Majesty feted at birthday celebration
Lyna Mohamad

Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha last night consented to grace Her Majesty's birthday celebration, jointly hosted by the Council of Women of Brunei Darussalam (CWBD), Police Wives and Families Welfare Body (PEKERTI), Brunei Darussalam Nurses Association (PENJURU) and Brunei Shell Ladies Association (BSLA), at the International Convention Centre in Berakas.

Her Majesty was greeted on arrival at the ICC by the President of CWBD, Pg Datin Paduka Hjh Mariam binti Pg Hj Matarsat and executive committee members of CWBD.

Accompanying Her Majesty were Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah, YAM Pengiran Bini Hajah Faizah, HRH Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa'adatul Bolkiah, HRH Princess Hajah Majeedah Nuurul Bolkiah and HRH Princess Hajah Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah.

The event, which was attended by some 700 association members, began with the mass recital of Surah Al-Fatihah and a Doa Kesyukuran.

Pg Datin Paduka Hjh Mariam delivered the welcoming speech, in which she highlighted the council's achievements, as well as the activities and programmes that CWBD has organised and participated in, which are directed towards the strengthening of cooperation between government agencies, private sector organisations and associations, and also the upgrading of skills in various aspects.

The council has also participated in awareness programmes through active involvement in the nation's development and involvement abroad. One of the activities was the organising of a forum and essay writing competition on the environment for secondary, technical and vocational school students in support of the need for a sustainable environment in the nation's development.

The council, Pg Datin Paduka Hjh Mariam added, has also conducted a Strategic Planning Workshop that serves as a management approach to determine the future directions of CWBD and use it as a guideline in implementing their roles and responsibilities, which are relevant to its establishment objectives.

In the regional and international arena, the council has also had the opportunity to attend several meetings, conferences and workshops such as Skills Building Workshop, Women Caucus and Asean Civil Community, Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights and 4th Asean Committee on Women +3.

Recently, CWBD also attended the 33rd International Council of Women Triennial Conference in Korea. In this regard, Pg Datin Paduka Hjh Mariam expressed appreciation and gratitude to the government in sponsoring their participation abroad through the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.

Her Majesty also consented to cut the birthday cake as well as to receive a royal birthday card and pesambah from CWBD, PEKERTI, PENJURU and BSLA.

Further enlivening the royal celebration last night were several performances of nasyid, tausyeh and others by the members of the associations. In addition, there was also a special performance by young students of Taman Asuhan Kanak-Kanak Sekolah Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah (TASKA YSHHB).

Also performing in the special showcase was the granddaughter of His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Pengiran Qaiyimah Nurul Bolkiah binti Pengiran Haji Mohammad Hakimmuddin.

Apart from celebrating Her Majesty's birthday, the event also served to express appreciation for Her Majesty's continuous support and encouragement towards women in the country, in particular the CWBD.

The celebration of Her Majesty's birthday is organised as part of the annual activities of the council, along with PEKERTI, PENJURU and BSLA. - Borneo Bulletin (31 October 2012)