Luyechun is an award presented by the Ministry of Education to selected “outstanding students”. The program ran from 1964 to 1988.
The first Luyechun camp was opened at Ngapali in the summer of 1964. It was for Luyechuns for 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th standards.
Ko Win Aung (M70) and Ko Win Myint (ex-UCC) attended the Ngapali camp as 10th standard Luyechuns.
The second Luyechun camp was opened at Inlay in the summer of 1965. For the first time, Luyechuns were selected for the Universities and Institutes. They attended the Inlay camp together with the 10th standard Luyechuns. There were two other camps : Rangoon Combined Camp and Ngapali Camp (for the lower classes).
The staff members from Lu Nge Yay Yar (Youth Affairs) were responsible for the logistics. Selected sayas and sayamas took charge of the Luyechuns. They include Dr. May May Yi (then at IM(2), later DG of BMRI), Daw Po (later Professor of Burmese), and U Aung Gyi (MASU Maths).
Tekkatho Tun Naung (1st year BDS, madolin) and Ko Sein Shwe (4th BE Mech, dobat, harmonica, flute) were some of the entertainers for the Luyechun concert. Ko Tin Hlaing (Le Dwin Thar Saw Chit, 1st year Burmese, MASU) was a notable contributor to the daily pamphlets.
Some high school students later joined RIT. They include Ko Win Myint (later Bogyoke), Ko Aung Win (later Saya), Uttam Singh (later Ph.D working at NASA), and Ma Pwint Than (later EPC).
The guest lecturers include Saya U Thein Han (Zawgyi), Saya Dr. Nyi Nyi, and U Thu Ta (Met DG).
Trips include Lawpita Dam and selected factories and departments.
There was a mishap when one student got injured during a “mandatory” exercise program.
For this and other reasons, the later Camp Commandants were chosen from respected Sayagyis (e.g. U Ba Toke).
Over the years, some became “Hturt Kwan” (Multiple) Luyechuns. New camps were opened for them.
A few won five or six times.
A few years back, Luyechun (1964-1988) was formed. The association meets one or more times a year.
Some Luyechuns have passed away.
Dr. Kyaw Sein Koe (IM 1) passed away early.
H.E. U Myint Thaung passed away recently.
As part of the award, one received a 50% travel discount. During the October holidays in 1965, I took on the offer from Ko Aung Kyaw (Peter Pe, SPHS, star in one movie) to join him and Ko Maung Maung Aye (IM(1), GBNF) to visit his cousin doctor in Inn Paw Khone (Inlay village). I visited Phaung Daw Oo again with a difference (as expressed in my old poem).
Phaung Daw-u Festival
Phaung Daw-u, oh Burma’s grandeur
Can truly make our hearts sublime
Its mystic charm and rhymeless splendor
Have firmly stood the test of time
It lies deep in the heart of people
It gives them courage and inspiration
No wonder this festival has no equal
It promises joy and veneration
On board the Karaweik so scintillating
Stood the four images of Lord Buddha
For the Noble Truth are we vindicating?
What lies deep under the completed tour?
But one statue was left behind
Because in writings we do find
That should it ever leave the shrine
There will be thunder and storm
Thus a happy reunion on the morn of the full moon of Thadinkyut
From floating islands the leg rowers came
To take part in the race
With their muscular frame, with might and main
Their oars flashing at a rapid pace
Festivities last all night long
Dances to the company of ozi and gong
Oh, prayers that fill the cool evening air
May loving kindness prevail everywhere