Being chosen to be the flag bearer for a state ceremony is undoubtedly a high honour which very few young people in Timor Leste can experience. Josefa Bernardina Noria Guterres Pereira who is usually called Josefa was fortunate to be chosen for this honour. She is a student from Electrical Engineering (EE) Study Program, President University (PresUniv).
The 20th Anniversary of Timor Leste's Independence was held at the Presidential Palace in Dili, Friday (20/5). The new President of Timor Leste, Jose Ramos Horta, presided over the ceremony. Representatives from several other foreign countries also attended the ceremony. For example, from Indonesia, the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD, attended.
At the ceremony, Josefa was appointed as the national flag bearer. This is a proud achievement. Josefa admitted that the experience was one of the best achievements in her life. She will never forget it.
Josefa admitted that the opportunity to become the national flag bearer in an official ceremony, especially on the anniversary of Timor Leste's Independence, did not come suddenly. Everything goes through a long process. Josefa then told the complete story about this came about.
In order to be become the national flag bearer, Josefa first joined the Corpo Içar da Bandeira Nacional or CIBN. This is the official organization for East Timor youths who wish to join the national flag-bearing corps. The country's youth are trained by the organization to become ceremonial officers, including flag bearers.
After practicing for a long time, Josefa was first appointed as the national flag bearer for a ceremony in 2015. "At that time, I was still a first grader in high school. I was appointed the national flag bearer for the Restoration Day ceremony and then trusted again at the Timor Leste Independence Day ceremony," she said.
After graduating high school, Josefa flew from Timor Leste to Cikarang, Bekasi, West Java. She continued her education at PresUniv. To be precise, Josefa joined the Electrical Engineering Study Program at the Faculty of Engineering.
Josefa had only been studying at PresUniv for about two years when the Covid-19 pandemic storm hit Indonesia and the world. The pandemic has forced campuses to shift their education from being in the classroom to a remote or online lecture system. The same thing happened at PresUniv.
Due to Covid , Josefa chose to return to Timor Leste temporarily. So, when asked by the organizing committee to be the team's carrier to raise the national flag on the 20th anniversary of Timor Leste's Independence, Josefa happened to be in her "homeland."
Eliminating 66 Candidates
Josefa did not expect that she would be asked to be the national flag bearer. In his imagination, initially, his duties were only limited to guarding the national flag. Not as a flag bearer. Josefa said, "For about three weeks, I practiced and didn't have much expectation. However, as time went on until the last days leading up to the event, suddenly I was told directly by the captain and instructor that I had been chosen to be the national flag bearer."
Joseph was a little surprised. Moreover, she said that 66 candidates trained together to become flag bearers at that time. Although surprised, Josefa was also proud. Furthermore, she is already a senior. "Being the national flag bearer at the Independence Anniversary ceremony is special. Moreover, I know that the selection process is rigorous," she said.
Make President Univ Proud
What also makes Josefa proud is that the host also mentioned the name and origin of her place of study, President University. All the people undoubtedly hear this of Timor Leste. "It boosts my confidence even more. Moreover, I can also make the name of the Electrical Engineering Study Program and PresUniv proud in my country, Timor Leste," said Josefa proudly.
Drs. Antonius Suhartomo, M.Eng.Sc., Ph.D., Head of Electrical Engineering Study Program. He said, "What Josefa has achieved is certainly very proud of the family of Electrical Engineering Study Program and PresUniv. Because everyone cannot obtain the opportunity to become a national flag bearer, hopefully, Josefa's achievements in the non-academic field will encourage all Electrical Engineering and PresUniv students to achieve similar achievements."
Currently, Josefa is finishing her thesis. She shared a message to all PresUniv students, "Dream and fight to be able to achieve your goals. Make it part of the process of self-maturation about whether to succeed or fail. Let's make PresUniv proud both at home and abroad. As a foreign student, I feel proud to be part of the PresUniv family." (Lita Gabriella, PR team. Photo: Lita)