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Notes for RU Centennial

Update : April 27, 2020

SEAP Games

Second SEAP Games

  • Burma hosted the Second SEAP games in 1961.
    About twenty Rangoon University students represented Burma in the games.
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Fifth SEAP Games

  • Burma also hosted the Fifth SEAP Games in 1969.
  • [Nyunt Nyunt Tin] : I was in the 7th standard at Myoma National High School (Rangoon) and participated Kabyaluk dance.
    The team of 400 high school girl students danced Kabyaluk at the opening ceremony. Never forget, ever.

Six belles held the signs for the competing nations (visitors in alphabetical order followed by the host nation).

  • Laos
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Malaysia
  • Vietnam
  • Burma
Sign bearers for Fifth SEAP Games

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Rangoon University

The Prime Minister of the Union of Burma attended Convocations as Chancellor of the University.

Pro Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, Pro Vice Chancellor also attended Convocations. Their roles are described in “Order of Procedure”.

Some dignitaries receive honorary degrees.

Convocation
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Rectors

  • Dr. Htin Aung (First native Rector)
    Retired as Vice Chancellor
    Outstanding author
  • Dr. Hla Myint
    Economist and Educator
  • U Kar
    Served as Minister in the Caretaker Government
  • Dr. Tha Hla
    Geologist
    Retired from United Nations
  • Dr. Maung Maung Kha
    Meteorological Physicist
    Longest tenure among the Rectors

Saya Kha

Dr. Maung Maung Kha served as

  • Professor and Head of the Physics Department
  • Interim Dean, Faculty of Engineering
  • Rector, University of Rangoon
    Saya has the longest tenure among the Rectors
  • Spouse : Teacher Ruby (also won the National Mixed Doubles Championship in Tennis)
  • Children : One son, three daughters
  • [Alvin Oke Soe Kha] : I experienced first hand when Uncle U Ba Kyi sang ”ႏွစ္ ေယာက္ ထဲ ေန ျခင္တယ္” and my father Dr. Maung Maung Kha accompanied uncle on violin.
  • There were fund raisers to hold Centennial celebrations for Saya Kha.
    Saya U Oo Khin Maung and Sayama Daw Thida were volunteer organizers along with several others.
Saya Kha and family

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Saya U Ba Toke

  • Phwa Bet Taw
    of Rangoon University and the First RU Students Strike
  • Would turn 100 in December 2020
  • Book published to celebrate his 80th birthday by the Thin Char Mithar Su

Saya U Ba Toke

  • Saya was born in December 1920 and is a Phwa Bet Taw of Rangoon University and the first RU Student strike.
  • Saya’s life journey has been written in the book by Saya Dr. Khin Maung Swe (Maung Thin Char).
  • Spouse : passed away around 2001
  • Children : Two sons, Six daughters
    Sadly, one son and one daughter are GBNF
  • Taught at Mandalay University, Rangoon University, Rangoon Institute of Technology and Assumption University (Bangkok)
  • Professor of Mathematics, Rangoon University
  • Rector, Mandalay Arts and Science University
  • Voluntarily transferred to RIT as Professor of Mathematics
  • Played soccer
    Managed RU Sports (including Soccer tournaments)
  • Leader of the Burma Olympic team
  • Was healthy and active until his mid-80s
    Walked at weekends to Shwe Dagon Pagoda
  • Likes to share his memories
  • Health declined after turning 90
U Ba Toke

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Rangoon University Boat Club (RUBC)

Brief History

  • In 1923, Rangoon University Boat Club (RUBC) was founded by Sir Arthur Eggar (Professor of Law), who pledged a third of his salary for the operation of the Club.
  • U Nyo (Philanthropist) sponsored RUBC Club as part of his donations to the RU Estate.
  • The Club was ravaged during the War
  • After the war, Old Members and supporters rebuilt the Club.
  • The President of the Union of Burma donated the “President’s Challenge Cup” for Inter-Club Coxed Eights
  • The Prime Minister of the Union of Burma donated the “Prime Minister’s Challenge Cup” for Inter-Club Coxed Fours
  • RUBC competed in Inter-Varsity (e.g. with Calcutta University), ARAE and FEARA Regattas.
  • The 40th Anniversary was celebrated in 1963 with a souvenir program containing the history of RUBC, list of Captains and EC members, list of RUBC Golds (compiled by Sithu U Tin, U Po Zon and U Tin Htoon). The photo of the Anniversary Dinner appears in another post.
  • There were other celebrations such as 50th and 60th.
  • For the 90th Anniversary, there were two publications. The souvenir program displayed in the post, and a reprint of the Autobiography of Sir Arthur Eggar.
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U Chan Tha

  • U Chan Tha is a multiple sports athlete.
    Past Captain and Gold of RUBC
    Captain of Prome Hall Soccer team (which won Inter-Hall Tournament for three years)
    Soccer Selected for Burma and Rangoon University
U Chan Tha

Dr. Harry Saing

  • In the early days, University students excel at academic and sports.
  • Dr. Harry Saing represented Burma in Rowing, Hockey and Cricket and represented the Faculty of Medicine in Track and Field, and Football. He is Past Captain and Gold of RUBC, and is two time Champion of ARAE (Amateur Rowing Association of the East).
  • He and Saya Dr. Pe Nyun (Past Captain and Gold of RUBC) operated Ma Nan Soe and Ma Nan San (the first set of conjoined twins) at the Rangoon Children Hospital.
  • Dr. Harry served as Professor of Pediatric Surgery at the Hong Kong University. He also served as Patron of the Hong Kong Rowing and Sailing Club, which hosted FEARA (Far East Amateur Rowing Association) Regattas.
    According to Ko Htaik San (Henry Kao), Dr. Harry provided physical and moral support to the RUBC crews competing at FEARA regattas.
  • Sadly, he is GBNF (Gone But Not Forgotten). I wrote about his in the Souvenir Magazine.
  • Per his wishes, his ashes were scattered into the waters near his second favorite Rowing Club (after his favorite RUBC).

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U Thant Ah Yay Ah Khinn

U Thant succeeded Daj Hammarskjold as the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) and served for two terms.

After retirement, he was writing memoirs when his health failed.

His body was brought back to Burma, but no high ranking personnel except a Deputy Minister was present at the Mingalardon air port.

The disrespect for Burma’s Son resulted in “U Thant Ah Yay Ah Khinn”.

U Thant

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Mya Kyun Nyo

U Thet Lwin

  • Maung Ngwe Hlinne is the pen name of Saya U Thet Lwin, who taught Burmese at the Institute of Economics and later transferred to RIT as Registrar.
  • He is a distinguished Composer.
    His songs include “Mya Kyun Nyo Nyo”.
  • [Saya Dr. Soe Win] : My father Saya Sein was U Thet Lwin‘s Burmese teacher at St. Paul’s High School.
Mya Kyun Nyo
U Thet Lwin (Maung Ngwe Hlinne)

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Excerpts from the RU Centennial Pages

Early Registrars

  • U Htin Si
  • U Yu Khin
  • Daw Sein Sein

Early Sayas

  • Dr. Hla Thwin
    Professor of Psychology
  • Dr. Maung Shein
    Lecturer of Economics
    Deputy Minister
    World Bank
  • U Than Aung
    Taught Burmese in the early days at St. Paul’s.
    Served as Minister of Education in the AFPFL government.
    Requested his former student C. Ping Lee (EE saya at the Faculty of Engineering) to head the Technical Education and Vocational Training Department.

Censorship

  • Readers [of the RASU Annual Magazine for 1975 -76] came up with several hidden messages.
  • In July 1963, several pamphlets were distributed during the first anniversary of 7th July.
    Citing security reasons, the schools (with the exception of Medicine and Engineering) were closed for almost a year.
    A new Education system was implemented in November 1964.
  • The censorship intensified in the later years.
  • My articles had to be approved by three Chief Editors of the newspapers (two Burmese and one English).
  • My poem for the Sar So Daw Nay was accepted by the Assistant Editor in charge of the Working People’s Daily (WPD) Supplement.
    She showed me the preview (block ready to be printed).
    The higher authorities refused to give the green light since my poem referenced Ananda Thuriya’s epic work “Dhammata”.

Nomination

  • At the centennial celebrations of some universities, the alumni and staff were asked to nominate events and people to be honored as the 100 items associated with the school.
  • The members could propose a list of items about their alma mater.

Philosophy

  • Philosophy means love of wisdom.
  • Under the new Education System introduced in November 1964, students with low ILA (Intelligence Level Aggregate) were forced to study Philosophy.

Scholarship / Stipend

  • The scholarship and stipend holders received 75 kyats a month (60 kyats after paying the school fees).
  • Those who stayed at hostels had to pay about 57 kyats a month.
  • One kyat could get long bus rides, decent food, comics, and cartoons.

RU Main Campus

  • Some are blessed to be born or lived on the campus.
  • Some are honored to call the campus their home.
  • I only had the chance to visit the houses of some sayas.


RIT Grand Reunion and Saya Pu Zaw Pwes

  • USA in 2000
  • Singapore in 2002, 2007 and 2010
  • Yangon in 2004, 2012, 2016 and 2020

Tun Naung

  • One was a star sprinter. He represented Burma in the First SEAP Games in Bangkok in 1959, and the Second SEAP Games in Rangoon in 1961. His team mates include Tun Mra (Sprint), Kyaw Mra (Hurdles) and Soe Mra (Pole Vault).
  • Tekkatho Tun Naung would often play with the mandolin on his back. He is a co-founder of Stereo Khit.

Football / Soccer

  • U Than Win (Captain of the team, later Director of Sports and Physical Education)
  • U Chan Tha (Captain of the Prome Hall team, also Past Captain and Gold of RUBC)
  • Collegian Nay Win, Kenneth Shein, Tun Kyi and Dr. Tint Lwin played for RU First Eleven under coach Saya Nyein.

Tennis

  • Saya Joe Ba Maung taught English at RIT before transferring to Burma Railways.
    Saya was Burma Tennis Champion in Men’s Singles, Men’s Doubles (with Than Lwin) and Mixed Doubles (with Sayama Ruby Kha)

Sports Officer

  • Several Burma Selected and University Selected became Sports Officers.
  • U Ba Maung (Soccer, RASU)
  • U Maung Maung (Soccer, RIT)
  • U Thet Win (Diving, Eco)

Tekkatho

  • In the early days, less than 10 percent passed the Matriculation examination. It was an honor to prefix one’s name with Tekkatho or University.
  • Khin Nyo wrote : absolutely right. I think in 1957 only 2% Passed and the total is 20000. Even dancer AmarSein was conferred with the title Thekkatho Amar Sein by the Rector.Dr Tha Hla.

Daw May Saw Lwin

  • TQ Saya Hla Min for including our photo in your post.
  • I think you would be happy (but not surprised) to learn that our granddaughter Ei Lwin, Dr Nyi Thet Lwin’s daughter achieved grade 9 in all of the nine subjects that she sat in the recent, 2019, GCSE exams. Following grandpa’s footsteps almost sixty years later!
  • Dr. Soe Win (SPHS58) stood First in Burma in the Matriculation of 1958.

Prizes

  • There were 20 or so prizes awarded at the RU Convocation.
  • Most prizes are for outstanding graduates.
  • Some prizes are for those who excelled at the Intermediate Classes.
  • The University prizes include Matthew Hunter Gold Medal.

Books

  • There are several books about Rangoon University and the university life of students.
  • Shwe Ku May Hnin wrote “Nga Doh Khit Ka Tekkatho“.

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