For archive (Updated on February 27, 2019)
by Saya U Soe Paing (EE)
Thank you [HM and KMZ] for all the updates. I enjoy reading them and can feel the excitement and enthusiasm of the participants and the organizers. I wish I could be there for the REUNION and visit my old haunts in the Bay Area.
The least I can do is to contribute something about the Sayas who will be attending the Reunion. I would like to say something about Saya U Ba Toke and my friend Sayas Allen Htay and Ko Tin Maung Nyunt.
I am very happy to hear that Saya U Ba Toke will be making the trip to the Bay Area. Saya U Ba Toke was our Math Saya in I.Sc.(A) at Yankin College in 1956 and I.Sc.(B) at Main University in 1957. He was a lecturer and Sayagyi U Kar who also taught us in 1957 was the Professor. He was a very good lecturer. I still cannot believe how he can write pages of notes on the
blackboard in a very nice handwriting. I think he became Professor of Mathematics in 1958 when U Kar retired. I remember that in 1958 we had to request him for recommendations to apply for places in universities in the States. He gave me a great recommendation for which I am still very grateful. I met him again when he joined RIT as the Professor of Mathematics before I moved to UCC. The last time I saw him was some months back at the funeral of the father-in-law of Dr. Khin Maung Win (Met) and the father of Khin Than Nwe (T62).
Allen Htay was a brand new [“freshly minted”] Saya when we joined the Engineering College in Leik Khone in 1958. I remember him teaching Engineering Drawing to the Chemical & Textile first year students like Khin Than Nwe (T62) and my high school friend Richard Than Se (ChE62). I met him again in August 1963 when we took the same ship SS Warickshire from Liverpool on the way back home.
Ko Tin Maung Nyunt, Ko Ko Lay (UCC, GBNF), and Ko Than Pe (Chartered Accountant, ADB) were also on the ship. We spent about two months on the ship with about 4 weeks in Colombo. We played ping pong [table tennis] and swam in the pool during the day. We played Bridge [card game] every night after dinner with Ko Tin Maung Nyunt and Ko Ko Lay as partners and myself partnering either Allen Htay or Ko Than Pe. We went on land at Port Said (at the start of the Suez Canal), Port Sudan and Aden in the Red Sea, and Colombo, Kandy and Nuwara Elyia in Sri Lanka. All of us became very good friends.
On arrival home in 1963 Allen Htay rejoined RIT in Gyogone. I was then assigned to the RIT Electrical Engineering Department in January 1964. We were together again when Ko Tin Maung Nyunt joined the Agricultural Engineering Department some months later. Ko Tin Maung Nyunt was one of our regulars on the Saya Football Team. We remained good friends as all of us stayed in the RIT estate. Ko Tin Maung Nyunt then left for the US via Thailand. I joined the UCC in 1971. Allen Htay then left for the US. The last time all of us got together was in 1988 in the Bay Area.
I am also glad to hear that my old colleagues from the EE Dept Ko Sann Tint (another Saya Football Team regular) and Ko Sein Maung will be attending the reunion. Please pass on my best regards to my Sayas, colleagues, friends, students and all participants.
Congratulations to you, the organizers and to a successful REUNION.
Saya U Soe Paing was my mentor at RIT and UCC.
During most of my visits to Yangon, I paid respect to Sayagyi U Ba Toke. Sayagyi is a Phwa Bet of Rangoon University (both were born in December, 1920).
Saya Allen Htay, Saya U Tin Maung Nyunt, U Ko Ko Aye, Ko Thein Naing (Patrick) and I used to meet once a month or so. Saya Allen is GBNF.