Royalty at ISB 50th Gala Dinner
Lyna Mohamad

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam last night consented to grace the 50th Anniversary of the International School Brunei’s (ISB) Gala Dinner at The Empire Hotel & Country Club in Jerudong.

Accompanying His Majesty were Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha and His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik.

Also gracing the dinner were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna and YAM Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz.

Upon arrival, His Majesty was greeted by ISB’s Board Chairman Awg Haji Ahmad Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Bakti Diraja Dato Laila Utama Haji Awg Isa and spouse as well other board members of ISB.

The royal arrival was followed by a group photo with members of the ISB board of directors and a tour around the time tunnel exhibition.

“For 50 years ISB has been part of Bruneian life,” said the board chairman. “It has been part of my life since 1967 when I started my education there and I have witnessed firsthand what ISB has provided for its students.”

He added that he had been serving the board for the past 13 years as a way of giving back to the school.

“Every person whose life has been connected to ISB will understand what makes the school so special.

“ISB gives a sense of pride and belonging. Also, there are the visible signs such as the academics,” he added.

The 2014 IGCSE results registered 90 per cent of all ‘O ’level IGCSE examinations results at the A*-C higher pass level, placing ISB in the top quarter of all schools in the world using this examination.

Also, the provision of the International Baccalaureate Diploma pre-university course has enabled many ISB students to enter and achieve success at top universities.

He noted that it was an exciting time for education here and that ISB would always work to ensure the best education for all of its students.

Apart from the colourful performances by ISB students yesterday, His Majesty’s daughter Her Royal Highness Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah wowed the crowd with a piano performance.

Also gracing the stage was His Majesty’s son His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel who along with other Year 3 students performed “Colours of the Wind” and the ISB birthday song.

Other stage performances were a Wizard of Oz’s Munchkin scene and a dance performance of the Wizard of Oz’s Forest scene by ISB’s primary and secondary students.

There was also a special video presentation on ISB past, present and future by ISB Executive Principal Dr Steven Geraghty.

His Majesty also presented recognition awards to the longest-serving board directors, Chairman Awg Hj Ahmad and Deputy Board Chairman Nicholas King.

Also receiving the recognition were Member of School Relocation Sub-Committee, Lt Col (R) Haji Afflon bin Dato Haji Hamidon; Chairman of Finance Sub-Committee, Haji Rashid bin Abd Razak; Chairman of School Relocation Sub-Committee, Maxwell Glover; Member of Finance Sub-Committee, Roy David Kurian; and Chairwoman of Sponsorship Committee and Alumni, Datin Hajah Sarimah binti Haji Umar.

There was also a Long-Service Staff award presentation.

His Majesty also received a Pesambah by the ISB Board of Directors.

ISB was founded by a government officer’s wife, Datin Glass, who started a tutorial group for her daughter and a couple of friends in 1964 at her home in Jalan Perayaan, teaching by means of a correspondence course sent out and marked by the South Australian Correspondence School.

When the numbers grew rapidly, the school moved to a site provided by the Brunei government in 1970 at Jalan Tapak Kuda and was known locally as the Supervision School with 30 kindergarten pupils and 31 primary pupils in February, 1971.

The enrollment continued to grow and by 1974 reached 160 students.

Two years later, the school became the International School (B) Bhd and employed trained teachers and the then principal Bennett adopted an education based on the UK primary school principles.

With the school continuing to thrive and outgrow the Tapak Kuda premises, the government leased the present Jalan Dato Hj Ahmad in Berakas, where ISB moved to in 1985.

It was officially opened the following year by HRH Princess Hajah Masna.

In 1993, ISB extended its education to lower secondary students.

In 2001, ISB achieved full structure when it was authorised by the International Baccalaureate Organisation to offer its prestigious diploma programme.

In 2006, ISB opened a primary school branch in Kuala Belait.

Although ISB had provided religious lessons for many year, it was only in January last year did it start providing full Ugama curriculum. - Borneo Bulletin (23 October 2014)