Royalty at Sports Fest in 1970s

Royalty at Sports Fest in 1970s
by Haji Mohd Daud Abdul Rahman
Published in Borneo Bulletin on 19th January 2013

ONE can fondly remember of the days way back when royalties along with state dignitaries would embark to the Padang Besar Bandar Brunei to compete in a Sports Fest. The most favoured games were the tug-of-war, football friendly match and the sack race.

Leading the sporting events were His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah, along with other royal family members.

The sack race was participated by Al-Marhum Begawan Sultan, heads of department and Pehin-Pehin Manteri, whereas the tug-of-war commenced with the team from His Majesty went head-to-head against heads of department led by Allahyarham Pehin Awang Haji Hussin, the Social Welfare Officer. The football match was held between the teams of Wazir-Wazir against the Pengiran-Pengiran Cheteria.

The padang was surrounded by the public and they watched the hilarious costume contest where men would dress up like women. The presentation of prizes was done by the then British High Commissioner, Mr Arthur Withson. Participating football teams would take a group photo with members of the royal family, state dignitaries, and heads of department with their winning trophy. The sports day was held in conjunction with His Majesty’s birthday during that time.

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam with his late father Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien in a group photo with head of teams after the Sports Fest in 1970 (Source: Haji Daud Haji Abd Rahman)

Al-Marhum Begawan Sultan in a VIP football match (Haji Daud Haji Abd Rahman)

Al-Marhum Begawan Sultan prepares to take part in the sack race (Source: Haji Daud Haji Abd Rahman)

Tug-of-war between His Majesty’s team and team comprising Pehin-Pehin Manteri in 1970 (Source: Haji Daud Haji Abd Rahman)

Al-Marhum Begawan Sultan is welcomed upon arrival at the Sports Fest at Padang Besar Bandar Brunei (Source: Haji Daud Haji Abd Rahman)

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