De La Salle

De La Salle Brothers

  • De LaSalle Brothers is an Order in the Catholic Church.
    Their mission is to promote education.
  • A Brother is one who has taken three vows :
    and Poverty.

De La Salle Schools in Burma

They De La Salle Brothers founded the following schools in Burma.

  • St. Patrick’s High School in Moulmein
  • St. Paul’s High Schools in Rangoon
  • St. Peter’s High School in Mandalay
  • St. Albert’s High School in Maymyo
  • St. Joseph’s High School in Loikaw
  • St. Columban’s High School in Bhamo
  • De La Salle School in Twante.


The Brothers refer to their former students as Brothers’ Old Boys (BOB).


An Old Paulian is an alumni of SPHS (St. Paul’s High School).

OPA is an Old Paulians Association.

Old Paulians include

  • U Tin Tut (first Burmese ICS by invitation)
  • U Chan Htoon (Politician and law practitioner)
  • Dr. Ba Han (Compiler of the U Ba Han Dictionary)
  • Dr. Ba Maw (Adipati)
  • U Than Aung (Education Minister in AFPFL government)
  • U Ba Khin (renowned Vipassana teacher and mentor of S. N. Goenka)
  • Dr. U Ba Than (Rector of IM(1) and founder of Zwe Ah Nyeint)

Father and Son

  • Saya Sein was our Burmese teacher in high school.
  • His brother-in-law Saya Kyaw Sein taught VII(A) and was our relieving teacher.
  • His son Dr. Soe Win stood first in Burma in the Matriculation of 1958.
    He studied Chemistry Honors and received his doctorate from Imperial College, University of London.
    He retired as Rector of YUFL.

Honor Roll

During our school days, St. Paul’s High School displayed an Honor Roll with the outstanding Matriculates starting from the 1950s.

Prior to Honor Roll

Sayagyi U Ba Khin (Vipassana Meditation Teacher) was first in Burma in the Pre-war days.

Honor Roll

The Post-war saw SPHS heading the top list for most academic years. The following stood First in Burma in their Matriculation class.

  • George Chapman (1951)
  • Dr, Nyunt Tin (1952)
  • Koon Yin Chu (1954)
  • Dr. Soe Win (1958)
  • Dr. Frankie Ohn (1959)
  • Dr. Khin Maung U (1963).

After nationalization, it disappeared. It was recovered by a junior Paulian U Soe Nyunt (Taw Win Hnin Si).

Post Honor Roll

  • Bernard Khaw (1965)

My memories of SPHS

Std. VIII (A)

My school mates from Std. VIII(B)

Awards for outstanding Matriculates in 1963

Invitation to the OPA Annual Dinner in 1963

Mini-gathering of 69ers in Yangon

St. Paul’s Bakery and Confectionery

Old Paulian’s Association

During our school days, the Old Paulian Association (OPA) was inside the school compound.

In 1963, ten of us were invited to the Annual OPA Dinner.

  • Khin Maung U (1st)
  • Min Oo (2nd)
  • Myo San (Freddie Ba San, 3rd)
  • Nyunt Wai (Victor Nyunt, 4th)
  • Thein Wai (5th)
  • Hla Min (7th)
  • Aung Kyaw Zaw (Johnny Maung Maung, 9th)
  • Maung Maung Kyi (11th)
  • Aung Thuyein (Brownie Way, 13th)
  • Khin Maung Zaw (Frank Gale, 17th)

After nationalization, the OPA moved out. Sadly, OPA allowed non-Paulians to “join” for billiards and drinks.

It took some time, before the Old Paulians — mostly from the late 50s and early 60s — took over the OPA and organized Reunions and Acariya Pu Zaw Pwes. OPA also awarded prizes to the children of Old Paulians who had done well academically (mostly in high school).

SPHS Sayas and Sayamas

Some joined SPHS from KG. They would know more sayas and sayamas than me.

After standing second in 3rd standard at PPBRS (Private Primary Boundary Road School), I transferred to Std. IV (D) at SPHS. As Dr. Thane Oke Kyaw Myint noted, most of the transfer students were placed in Section (D).

Sections (A) and (B) were reserved mostly for the bright students.

I had to be in the Top Two for four consecutive years, before I was assigned to Section (A) in Std. VIII.

My Class Teachers include :

  • Ms. A Benjamin (IVD)
  • Mrs. V Boudville (VD)
  • U Pe Tin (VID)
  • U Nge (VIID)
  • Brother Anthony (VIIIA)
  • Brother Xavier (IXA)
  • Brother Austin (XA)

Ms. Amelia Kyi (“Miss Hong Kong”) taught us English in VI and VII Standards. She would fine 25 pyas for failing the weekly test. However, she would reward 50 pyas for topping the test. My daily pocket money was 25 pyas.

Brother Xavier taught us English in VIII and IX. He would mark a dictation test starting out with 100 and then subtracting 10 for every spelling error. One of my classmates ended with -130. For some reason, the Albertians said that Brother Xavier stopped being strict after he transferred from St. Paul’s to St. Albert’s.

After Nationalization, Brother Xavier moved back to the UK. He subsequently left the Order.

Brother Austin taught us English in X. He also taught “Morals and Manners” for the period when the Catholic students studied Catechism. He was the School Librarian and also in charge of the 8mm projector. Every week, he would take us to the School Library (which had books donated by Ford Foundation and Asia Foundation), ask us to check out a book and then write a review over the weekend.

For the “Morals and Manners” class, he would ask us to recite poems from the book. The first three who recited perfectly could take “time off for the rest of the period”. I was lucky to win a few special prizes : a ticket to see “1960 Rome Olympics” documentary at Thamada (President) cinema, and a book covering North America (complete with history and atlas).

He abhorred plagiarism. He said, “It’s okay if you did not time to finish your homework. But don’t copy other’s works. It’s a waste of time for you and me.”

Contrary to his expectations, I did not end up in the Top Three.

After Nationalization, Brother Austin moved to a De La Salle School in Malaysia, and continued teaching until his demise.

Saya Sein was our Burmese teacher in High School. He taught us “Mingala Pa Pun Lu Na Ta Tu Ti Sein Ta Ti Ti Mingala” as an example of giving the meaning of Pali words. Saya Sein is the father of Dr. Soe Win (Chemistry, ICST, Retired Principal of UFL)

Saya Kyaw Sein (brother in law of Saya Sein) taught VII(A) and was our relieving teacher.

There were several subject teachers and relieving teachers. They include :

  • Brother Clementian
  • Brother Joseph
  • Saya Beatson
  • Saya D’Cruz
  • Saya Nyunt Maung
  • Saya Htay Myint
  • Saya Htwe
  • Saya Lewis
  • Saya Timms
  • Saya Kyaw Khin
  • Saya Johnny Myo
  • Saya M. Hla Min
  • Saya Hla Myint
  • Saya Kyaw Oo
  • Saya Aye
  • Saya San Thein

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