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Aung Thu Yein

Classmates

  • Aung Thu Yein (Brownie Way) and I became classmates starting with Std. VIII(A) at St. Paul’s High Schools.
  • We would continue our studies for I.Sc.(A) in Leik Khone and Electrical Communications (EC) at Rangoon Institute of Technology.
  • In the matriculation examination of 1963, students from SPHS had five in the Top Five, seven in the Top Ten, and ten in the Top Twenty.
    Aung Thu Yein placed 13th in the whole of Burma.
  • Khin Maung U (George), Min Oo (Kenneth), Myo San (Freddie), Nyunt Wai (Victor), Thein Wai, Hla Min, Aung Kyaw Zaw (Johnny), Maung Maung Kyi, Aung Thu Yein (Brownie) and Khin Maung Zaw (Frank) were awarded Collegiate Scholarship of 75 Kyats a month.
  • Brownie played soccer with his classmates and hall mates.

Soft Heart

  • Brownie had a soft heart. Before the Matriculation examination, he read several subjects to Victor Nyunt (his close friend since primary school) who fell sick and could not study.
  • Brownie can take some credit for Victor’s success — 4th in Burma and later medical professor in IM(1), IM(2) and Malaysia.

Smoking and Drinking

  • Brownie learned to smoke — trying to fend off mosquitoes in the RIT rest rooms.
  • He learned social drinking with his classmates (e.g. “Robert” Win Boh) after the last paper of the RIT final exam.
  • He was one of the 11 EC graduates in 1969.
  • He had a successful career at MOGE/Schlumberger, and several foreign assignments, but became a heavy smoker and drinker [at times].
  • He felt lonely after the loss of his spouse and his eldest son, and had several minor and not-so-minor health problems.
  • Per his doctor’s advice, he quit drinking and smoking for some time, but he still felt the urge.

Mini-Reunion in 2012

  • In March 2012, Zau Lai picked me up before going to Brownie’s house.
    He was extremely delighted to see us. He would not go back into his house to get dressed. He would not lock his house. In fact, he just closed the gate without locking to board the car. We conversed along the way to Zau Lai’s apartment.
  • Sa Maung Maung and Ko Thein Swe joined the mini-gathering.
  • Zau Lai requested Brownie to say “Cheers” and have a few drinks for old time’s sake.

69er Gathering at Taw Win Hnin Si

  • Brownie did not show up at the 69er gathering at Royal Rose (Taw Win Hnin Si).
    Some who had not attended previous breakfast gatherings showed up.
  • The joy was cut short.
    We learned that Brownie was in ICU and that the 69er Health Care Fund organizers would go there to see him.
  • Ko Kyaw Zin took Ko Win Lwin, Ko Khin Maung Bo and me to the ICU. Brownie’s son, who is a medical doctor, said that Brownie was not ready for the operation.
  • We left with samvegha (sense of urgency) that he might very well end up as No 61 on the GBNF list maintained by Ko Aung Min.
  • Ko Win Lwin told me to meditate and also “do something for yourself”.

Missed his last journey

  • I spent several days at the Kaba Aye Sun Lun Gu Kyaung as a temporary monk.
    Sayadaw U Wara (ChE 70, brother of Saya U Soe Paing) was my preceptor.
  • During that period, Brownie Way) passed away.
    He did not regain unconsciousness [after the unexpected fall in his house] and succumbed.
  • My 69er friends notified Brownie’s demise to my siblings, but requested not to notify me at the monastery.
    They did not want to disrupt my meditation practice.

GBNF

  • Brownie was the second EC69er to pass away.
  • He was preceded in death by Ko Kyaw Soe (DCA) and succeeded by Ko Chit Tin (MOGE)
  • May Brownie be able to share my merits.
    Ah Hmya, ah hmya, ah hmya.

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