Saya Pu Zaw Pwe *

  • Micro-SPZP
  • SPZP
  • Poem
  • SPZP-2000 in the USA
    Golden Sponsors
    Sponsors for Sayagyi U Ba Toke
  • SPZP-2000 : By The Numbers
  • Singapore SPZPs
  • SPZP-2002 in Singapore
  • Yangon SPZPs
  • SPZP-2004 in Yangon
  • SPZP-2012 : True Home Coming
  • SPZP-2016 : All Day Free Event


  • When I started school at an early age, I was not enthusiastic.
  • According to my mother, something magically happened one day.
  • She attributed to Teacher Kywe, a Karen Christian with a warm soul and the skill to transform a normal kid like me into a life long learner.
  • For several years, my mother would ask me to visit Teacher Kywe and pay respect to her.
  • It was one of the early Micro-SPZP.
  • Her eyes were filled with pride as she introduced her former student to her current students.


  • Saya Pu Zaw Pwe (SPZP) transcends religions.
  • Some believed that RIT was a dying breed, but there are those who wanted to keep the RIT Spirit alive and well.
  • They wanted to have the sayas and alumni get reconnected electronically via the Internet, and physically via Pu Zaw Pwes.
  • RIT Alumni International was formed by the San Francisco Bay Area Group (and Ko Khin Maung Zaw) with the objective to host the First RIT Grand Reunion and SPZP in San Francisco, California, USA in October 2000.
  • The term Saya Puzaw Pwe was chosen over Saya Gadaw Pwe, which has religious connotations.
  • The term SPZP was chosen over Saya Gadaw Pwe — which had religious connotations — to allow the sponsors and alumni who profess different religions to pay back to their mentors for their metta and cetana.
  • I am grateful to be part of the team that organized SPZP-2000 and for the subsequent SPZPs in
    Singapore (2002, 2007 and 2010)
    Myanmar (2004, 2012 and 2016).
  • SPZP-2012 (Yangon) was the first true Home Coming
    Thanks in part to H.E. U Aye Myint (EP72)
  • SPZP-2016 (Yangon) was the first to have a full day event at the Gyogone Campus.
    Thanks in part to RITAA and the Sponsors / Donors to provide free food and entertainment
  • The smiles from our beloved sayas and sayamas, and occasional “slap on my back” from my former colleagues, classmates and give me “second wind” even after being a volunteer messenger for 20+ years.

U Khin Maung Zaw (KMZ, EC76) wrote :

The official name of these “Reunions” was one of the many discussions at the very early days of first Reunion committee members under the leadership of Saya Allen Htay. All of us were aware that the “Saya Gadaw Pwe” could somehow be restrictive where you would have many intakes and graduation classes spanning several decades not to mention people transcending various religions.

SPZP, Saya Pu Zaw Pwe, was officially adopted. It turned out well, and was adopted by the consecutive Reunions.


S eems like it was only yesterday
A t our alma mater in a land far away
Y ou taught us to work, play, laugh, even cry
A nd coaxed us, forced us to aim for the sky

P roblems in real life, lab, computation, survey
U nderstand concepts, design, display, …

Z eal, zest, ardor, grit, passion to make it “our day”
A rchitects, engineers, we’ve come here to say
W e honor your metta, your cetana — we fully can’t repay

P resently we meet, alum from five decades we greet
W ith memories true, fond, sweet
E cstatic yet sad that the GBNF could not join this memorable fete

  • My poem was published on the front page of the commemorative issue of RIT Alumni International Newsletter for SPZP-2000.
  • Saya U Moe Aung and team reprinted my poem on the back cover of the commemorative issue of Swel Daw Yeik Sar Saung for SPZP-2002 hosted by the Singapore alumni.

SPZP-2000 in the USA

SPZP-200 Organizers

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Ko Khin Maung Zaw (KMZ, EC76, web master) copied the names/tags from the very first posting from his album.

Sitting L-R: Saya U Mya Htoo (Civil 68), U Benny Tan (Mech 70), Saya KC Chiu (Chem 63), U Hla Min (EC 69) Editor Extraordinaire, Saya U Allen Htay (Civil 58) GNBF, Saya U Nyo Win (Mech 65), Saya U Tin Htut (Mech 60), Saya George Maung Maung (Chem 66), Dw San San Nyunt @ Mrs. Thein Aung (Mech 76)

Standing L-R: U Soe Aung (Mech 75), U Gordan Kaung (Mech 83), , U Myint Swe (EP 74), U Anthony Ng (Mech 76), U Phillip Mya Thwin (EP 75), U Maurice Chee (Mech 75), U Thura Thant Zin (Mech 76), Sayalay U Thein Aung (Met 72), U Myint Lwin @ Henry Chee (Civil 63), Ko Khin Maung Zaw (EC76),Daw Yi Yi Khaing @ Audrey Wong (Civil 84), Daw San San @ Mrs Myint Swe (EC74)

All of them, except KMZ, live in various cities across Northern and Southern California. KMZ lives in a city near Seattle, Washington State,

Golden Sponsors

We appreciate the cetana of the following alumni who felt that the RIT Alumni International should have activities beyond the First ever RIT Grand Reunion and Saya Pu Zaw Pwe.

They are honored as “Golden Sponsors” of SPZP-2000.

  • Steeve Kay (U Thaung Sein, EC70, Southern California)
    Donated $1000 initially and later gave an additional $1800.
  • Ivan Lee (U Khin Maung Oo, M69, New Jersey)
    Donated $1200 for the General Fund of RIT Alumni International (and for SPZP-2000).
    Earlier donated $360 for one year’s operating expense of the ex-rit.or web site
  • David Ko (U Tin Myint, M67, Northern California)
    Donated $1000 for SPZP-2000
  • Benny Tan (Tan Eu Beng, M70)
    Donated in cash and kind.
    Designed the memorabilia (Banner, Mug, Calculator/Clock and Tee-shirt).
    Since he had gift shops, he obtained most of the memorabilia from his vendors at discount prices.
  • U Maung Maung Than (M79, Texas)
    Donated a Round-trip ticket to Myanmar
    By popular acclaim, the ticket was given to Sayagyi U Ba Toke.


Steeve Kay

  • Multiple Golden Sponsor for SPZPs.
  • Established the “Steeve and Helen Kay Health Care Fund for RIT Sayas and Sayamas. In 2019, the balance of the Fund was handed over to Swel Daw Yeik Foundation.
  • Donated $200,000+ over the years to RIT-related activities.

Ivan Lee

  • Hosted the annual RIT-UCC Gathering in New Jersey
  • Golden Sponsor for SPZP-2007
    Sponsored ayama Naw Mu Mu Aye to attend the SPZP

David Ko

  • Donated US $3000 to SPZP-2012
  • Sponsored Dinner Tables at NorCal RITAA Dinner

Benny Tan

  • Multiple Golden Sponsor for SPZPs
  • For SPZP-2000, Ko Benny used Steeve’s donation as seed money to raise funds.
    He designed memorabilia to give to sayas, sayamas and selected organizers / volunteers.
    Some memorabilia were put on sale for attendees at SPZP-2000.

U Maung Maung Than

  • Could not attend SPZP-2000, but he comunicated with Saya Allen Htay
  • Supported Saya Dr. Tin Win’s “Run LA Marathon to raise fund for SPZP-2007”

Sponsors for Sayagyi U Ba Toke

  • U Maung Maung Than donated the round trip ticket
  • U Zaw Min Nawaday (EP70) hosted Sayagyi U Ba Toke and his son U Ye Myint (EP72) at his then new house in Hayward, California.
  • Saya Allen Htay, Saya U Tin Htut, Saya Mao Toon Siong and several sayas and alumni took care of Sayagyi’s stay.
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SPZP-2000 : By The Numbers


  • SPZP-2000
    First RIT Grand Reunion and SPZP
  • One round-trip ticket for a saya from Myanmar to attend SPZP-2000
    By popular acclaim, Sayagyi U Ba Toke was invited.)


Two Sayas of our sayas

  • U Num Kok
  • U Ba Toke

Two former RIT Rectors at the SPZP

  • Dr. Aung Gyi
  • U Khin Aung Kyi

Two major events at the Reunion and SPZP

  • Dinner/meeting on Oct 28, 2000
  • Lunch/picnic on Oct 29, 2000

Two Organizing Committees

  • Working Committee (Chaired by Ko Benny Tan and Ko Maurice Chee)
  • Steering Committee (Mostly Sayas)


Three Outstanding Member Awards given to

  • Ko Hla Min (EC69) for the pioneering work of RIT Alumni International website and Editor of RIT Alumni International Newsletter
  • Ko Khin Maung Zaw (EC76) for the design, implementation, maintenance and enhancements to http://www.ex-rit.org
  • Ko Hla Myint Thein (Maurice Chee, M75) Treasurer/Financial Controller/Publisher of RIT Alumni International


Four intensive months of preparation by the Organizing Committee


Five Golden Sponsors for SPZP-2000

  • Steeve Kay (Ko Thaung Sein, EC 70)
  • Benny Tan (Tan Yu Beng, M70)
  • Ivan Lee (Ko Khin Maung Oo, M69)
  • Ko Maung Maung Than (M79, Texas)
  • David Ko (Ko Tin Myint, M67)


Number of sweet years spent at the engineering colleges and institutes by most attendees


Seven unforgettable hours (5 – 12 pm) at the Reunion and SPZP

Seven sleepless nights per week by Maurice, Benny, …


Number of countries represented by the attendees:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Myanmar
  • Thailand
  • Singapore
  • Japan
  • Australia
  • New Zealand

Number of major disciplines at the time of opening of RIT

  • Civil
  • Mechanical
  • Electrical
  • Mining
  • Textile
  • Chemical
  • Metallurgy
  • Architecture


Number of “Post-Reunion” articles written by Hla Min for SPZP-2000


Number of “Count down to the Reunion” articles written by Hla Min for SPZP-2000


Number of articles written by Hla Min for SPZP-2000

Singapore SPZPs

SPZP-2002, SPZP-2007, and SPZP-2012 hosted by the Singapore alums were grander (with a huge turn out at the main events, publication of the commemorative Swel Daw Yeik Sar Saungs by Saya U Moe Aung and his teams, first-rate entertainment by the famous Swel Daw Yiek Ah Nyeint and the young-at-heart (“never grow old”) singers and dancers.

SPZP-2002 in Singapore

Saya Dr. Soe Thein (C75) was a core organizer of SPZP-2002. He and his team maintained two web sites

  • One for alumni in Singapore
  • One for Civil Engineers in Singapore

The Singapore Alumni web site contained information for SPZP-2002.

7 December 2002 (Saturday)

The second web site contains information for the resident and visiting Civil Engineering sayas. Some sayas would be staying at the hotels provided by the SPZP-2000 Organizers. Some sayas might stay with their former colleagues or students. The contact information is helpful for arranging gatherings and tours.


Organizers of SPZP-2002

The Second RIT Grand Reunion and Saya Pu Zaw Pwe was hosted by the sayas and alums in Singapore.

Saya U Moe Aung was the Chair. Saya Dr. Tin Hlaing, Sayama Daw “Emma” Tin Tin Myint, Saya U Aung, Saya U Tin Lin, and Saya Dr. Dr. Soe Thein are some of the core members of SPZP-2002.

The RIT gathering at the Thingyan festival and musical gala at NTU helped with the planning and implementation of SPZP-2002.

Swel Daw Yeik Sar Saung for SPZP-2002

  • SWEL DAW YEIK SAR SAUNG for SPZP-2002 (Singapore).
  • Saya U Moe Aung (Tekkatho Moe War) & team published the commemorative issue.
  • They reprinted my poem (first published in the web pages of http://www.ex-rit and the commemorative newsletter). Thanks.
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“Don Min” U Yu Swan, U Moe Myint, Daw Moh Moh Han, U Myint San (“Tet Lu”), U Aung Kyaw Myint (“ko Ba Kyaw”) and many other talented Geeta Ah Nu Pyinnar Shins helped with the entertainment for SPZP-2002.

Yangon SPZPs

SPZP-2004 was held in Yangon, but not at the Gyogone campus. The Tsuanami-related tremors did not deter the sayas and alums from attending SPZP-2004.

SPZP-2012 and SPZP-2015 were held at the Gyogone Campus.

SPZP-2012 was the first True Home Coming

SPZP-2016 was the Free All Day Event

SPZP-2004 in Yangon

The following appeared in the ReUnion 2004 Home Page

RIT Reunion & Saya Pu Zaw Pwe – 2004
Yangon, Myanmar
26th December 2004

Morning : Saya Pu Zaw Pwe

Date : Sunday, December 26, 2004
Time : 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 am
Place : Myanmar Convention Center (MCC)

Evening : Dinner & Entertainment

Date : Sunday, December 26, 2004
Time : 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Place : Dusit Inya Lake Hotel

Pu Zaw Pwe Office & Contact

Office : United Engineering Co Ltd
Corner of Wayzayantar Road & Yadana Road
Thingangyun Township 11071

Contact : U Zaw Min (Mechanical 1975)
U Hla Win (Mechanical 1975)

Hotline : 571321/ 571877/ 571990/ 571995
Fax : 571288
Website : http://www.sayapzpygn.com/
Email : zawmin@uegroup.com.mm

The Third RIT Grand Reunion and Saya Pu Zaw Pwe was hosted by the sayas and alums in Myanmar. U Win Khaing (M 75) and his team (U Zaw Min, U Hla Win) formed the core of the Yangon-2004 SPZP Organizers. An earthquake that morning did not deter the attendees.


Tears of Joy

When alums learned that SPZP-2012 will be held at their alma mater (which had been largely neglected and turned into dilapidated building with bushes around), tears of joy fell.

When alums learned that the Stage-3 cancer survivor “Seik Kyi” (Cartoon Myint Pe) and his fellow cartoonists will revive the Cartoon Box, and also publish a collection of “RIT cartoons” (at a modest price of K1500), they was laughter and echoes of “walking down memory lane”.

When alums learned that the multiple ICU visitor Ko Saw Linn would head not only the main preparation committee of SPZP-2012, but also publish the 350+ page commemorative SWEL DAW YEIK MAGAZINE, reprint limited copies of the 23 vintage RIT Annual magazines, their spirits became high.

When alums learned that Sayagyi U Ba Than, Saya U Soe Paing, Saya U Aung Hla Tun and team would take the first (scoped but important) step to compile the “History of University Engineering Education in Burma / Myanmar”, the importance and uniqueness of SPZP-2012 became evident.

Homage at SPZP-2012

December 30, 2012 saw several Union ministers and deputy ministers sitting on the lawn alongside the alums and paying respect to the sayas and sayamas for their “Arcariya” virtues (irrespective of age and experience). That day saw sayas, sayamas, and alums endure the hot sun to bask in the glory and memories of the hey days. That day saw the re-emergence of RIT glory and the close bond of alums spanning five or more decades.

SPZP-2012 will go down in engineering history as one of the historic and memorable events (which many had feared would not see in their life time).

Thanks to the unsung heroes for carrying on the noble tradition.


The All-Day Free Event was held at the Gyogone Campus.

There was free food for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

The Saya Pu Zaw Pwe was held in the morning.

The Reunion Dinner and Entertainment took place in the evening.

Categories: SPZP

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