Bandar Seri Begawan - Fifty-nine years ago this month, a British army officer and his friend brought their idea of publishing a newspaper in Brunei to fruition and the Borneo Bulletin was born.
As Brunei Darussalam hosts the Asean Summit next year, the Borneo Bulletin will pass a new milestone as it will celebrate its 60th anniversary.
The countdown to the grand 60th anniversary bash began yesterday with the official unveiling of the logo to signify the milestone in the presence of top management, employees and staff from the company.
Among them were the CEO of QAF Brunei Sdn Bhd, Mr Albert Lau; General Manager of Brunei Press Sdn Bhd, Reggie See; and Deputy General Manager Hazizah Osman.
In his welcoming remarks, the General Manager highlighted the rich history of the newspaper which began amidst the boom in oil and gas production in the 1950s in Brunei.
Brunei Press was established in August 1953 by a British Army Officer, Geoffrey Wein Kerr, and his friend and master printer, William Frederick Runnagal, in the oil town of Kuala Belait - used to be known as 'cowboy town' due to the different kinds of nationalities employed in the oil and gas sector.
Six years after, the company was sold to The Straits Times Group in Singapore and the new owners improved the editorial outlook and advertising business. In 1985, QAF Limited took overpart of the shares of Brunei Press and five years later, it was fully-owned by QAF Brunei.
On September 3, 1990, the Borneo Bulletin made a giant leap by becoming a daily newspaper after 37 years as a weekly and six years later it moved its operations and printing plant to the present day office in Perindustrian Beribi II, Gadong in the capital.
Recently, the Borneo Bulletin was revamped with a brand new look and subsequently the digital e-Borneo Bulletin was made available daily on the Internet.
According to Mr Reggie, the e-Borneo Bulletin has received positive feedback from Brunei students studying overseas, businesses and those who want to keep informed of Brunei news.
Today, the company also runs the Malay newspaper the Media Permata and has its own commercial printing service office, boasting a total of 260 full time staff and more than 50 part-time employees. About 90 per cent of the workforce is local.
During the one-year countdown, Brunei Press staff will be conducting several campaigns and charity events to further enliven the celebrations.
The Borneo Bulletin 60th Anniversary logo designed by one of Brunei Press's long-serving staff depicts the number '60' which represents two printing machine rollers with web paper running through.
The creator, Tan Wee Guan, has used a hidden "infinity" symbol in the illustration which portrays the company's ongoing commitment to improvement and progress. The colour application follows the Borneo Bulletin masthead - black, red and blue.
The logo will appear in the newspaper every day in the run up to the anniversary bash and the Weekend Bulletin will look back at some of the special articles published over the years beginning this weekend to remind the readers of our rich history.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin