Article

Hla Min’s Writings (7)

Update : July 19, 2020

  • Judo
    Judo is an Olympic sport.
    There was an anecdote of why a Japanese businessman sponsored a team of Judo instrutors to help the Burmese team
  • RIT Sayas who headed associations
    Most departments (engineering and supporting subjects) have associations and activities. There were several associations (e.g. Track and Field, Swimming, Rowing) under the RIT Sports Council. There were also associations for Literature, Ah Nu Pyinnya Shin, Cartoonists.
  • Independence Day Regatta in 1948
    U Tin U, Dr. Pe Nyun (GBNF), Dr. Pe Thein (GBNF) and U Bobby Tin represented Rangoon University Boat Club (RUBC) at the Independence Day Regatta at Kandawgyi in 1948.
  • Chinlon
    U Tin Shein (M69) and Dr. Htin Aung (C69) and U Soe Tint (64 Intake) represented RIT in Chinlon.
    Saya U Maung Maung Than was Patron.
  • RIT Table Tennis Stars
    Saya Mao Toon Siong (M62) was Burma Champion in Singles and Doubles. He competed in the World Championship held in Beijing. He served as National Coach. He also managed and coached the RIT team (U Maung Maung, Stan Liou, U Win Myint, …) which won the Inter-Institute tournament.
  • Father and Son
    U Sein Htoon (M63) is Past Captain and Gold of RUBC. He coxed the RUBC Fours — U Tin Htoon, Dr. Harry Saing (GBNF), Victor Htun Shein (GBNF) and Sunny Teng — that won the Willindon Trophy at the 1960 ARAE Regatta in Colombo.
    His son Zeyar Linn (M02) is Past Captain an Gold of RUBC.
    The two form the second “Father-son” pair of Past Captain and Gold.
    Bohmu Maung Maung Than Tun and Aung Khine form the first “Father-son” pair of Past Captain and Gold.
  • Horse Racing
    The Rangoon Turf Club had good relations with other Turf Clubs (e.g. Hong Kong).
    Horse Racing was banned by the BSPP Government.
  • Laughter
    There are scientific and social studies showing the benefits of laughter.

Judo

Judo is an Olympic sport.

Judo and UTC

As a “Kauk Yoe Mee”, I tried a few sessions of Judo taught conducted by UTC. We had to learn to fall gracefully on the Judo mat. Then, we learned the basics of maintaining one’s balance and disturbing the opponent’s balance.

The early Judo champions were mostly military instructors (e.g. from Ba Htoo). Some were assigned to UTC. They helped run Judo Training Camps for the Burma Selected team (including the preliminary candidates).

RU and Burma Judo Champs

During our younger days, only a few college students — Ko Myint Lwin (Charles Cheah) and Ko Tin Maung Aye (“Ma Chit Su”) — represented Burma in Judo.

Ko Charlie’s spouse is the niece of Saya U San Tun (M59). Upon arrival at the US, Ko Charlie was hired by a company. On his first day of job, an alarm set off and Ko Charlie was assigned to confront a 7 footer who had set off the alarm. Luckily, there was no shoot out or the requirement of Judo tricks.

Ko Tin Maung Aye was also a member of RUBC.

Anecdote

Grapevine says that a rich Japanese sponsored several Judo instructors to help train the Burmese Judo team. The sponsor who led the team was not a Judo expert. His intention was to visit the girl that he left behind in Rangoon during the Second World War. Some neighbors of the woman were surprised and delighted to learn about the Reunion of the Japanese Veteran with his wife and son.

RIT Sayas who headed associations

  • U Maung Maung Than (RIT Sports Council)
  • U H Num Kok (Track and Field)
  • Mao Toon Siong (Table Tennis)
  • U Sein Win (Rowing, Swimming and Water Polo)
  • Dr. San Hla Aung (Rowing, Swimming and Water Polo)
  • U Hla Myint (Charlie, Swimming and Water Polo)
  • U Tin Htut (RUBC)
  • U Tin Maung Nyunt (Thaing)
  • Dr. Kyaw Sein (Weightlifting and Body Building)
  • U Kyaw Tun (RIT EE Association)
  • Allen Htay (Photography)
  • U Moe Aung (Ah Nu Pyinnya Ah Thin)
  • U Saw Tun (Ah Nu Pyinnya Ah Thin)
  • Dr. Thein Hlyne (Buddhist Association)
  • U Lin (Buddhist Association)
  • Des Rodgers (Scrabble, RIT English Association)
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U Tin Htut
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U Moe Aung

Independence Day Regatta in 1948

When Rangoon University reopened in 1946, three siblings — Dr. Pe Nyun, Dr. Pe Thein and their elder sister — attended RU along with U Tin U (elder brother of Saya U Ba Than) and Saya U Sein Hlaing.

Dr. Pe Nyun, Dr. Pe Thein, Bobby Tin (son of Architect U Tin) and U Tin U represented RUBC (Rangoon University Boat Club) at the 1948 Independence Day Regatta at Kandawgyi and became RUBC Gold.

Dr. Pe Nyun served as Secretary of RUBC.

U Tin U served as Captain of RUBC. He is the most senior Past Captain alive. He will be 89 on August 3. His spouse Dr. Khin Kyi Nyunt is the maternal aunt of Sayama Toni Khine and U Thet Tun (Henry, M75).

Bohmu Maung Maung Than Tun is the oldest Past Captain alive. He is older than U Tin U by a few months.

Dr. Tin Wa wrote :

The first time I represented RUBC and awarded the “Gold” was at the Independence Day Regatta in 1959/1960 as Cox for Fours against the 20 or so Famous Inle Leg Rowers , (when Ko Tin Htoon was Captain), the Certificate of which I still have in my possession now. In 1960, I represented the Club as Vice Captain and the Coxswain of RUBC Fours team with H. Num Pon, Tun Zan, Mya Maung and Than Thoung , in the Inter-varsity races against the Indian University Clubs at the Regatta in Calcutta. In 1961, I again represented the Club leading a team of oarsman for the races in Single Sculls (Ko Tun Shein), Coxed Pairs (Ko Tin Htoon & Harry Saing with Ko Eddie Hla Min as Cox) , and I was the Cox for Fours which got into Semi-Finals with Ko Tin Htoon, Ko Win Kyi, Victor Htun Shein. And Harry Saing. My last duty to represent the Club in early 1962 was to attend the ARAE Regatta meeting to ask for RUBC to be the venue for the proposed ARAE/FEARA Regatta the following year when my successor Ko Sein Htoon would be Captain. I left for further studies in USA immediately thereafter. The proposed ARAE/FEARA Regatta did not materialize due to political unrest. I hope it can take place around the time of RUBC Centennial Celebrations in 2023.

Chinlon

According to Ko Aung Khin (A69), they used to play Chinlon at RIT. Ma Thwin Thwin Aye Hmi (Olive, A69) would join them.

Chinlon evangelists in our younger days include

  • Bohmu Soe Tint (uncle of Ko Tin Maung Lay (M69, GBNF)
  • Saya U Maung Maung Than (Tex, GBNF)
  • U Aung Koe

Ko Tin Shein (C69) and Saya Dr. Htin Aung (C69) represented RIT in Chinlon.

RIT won the Inter-Institute Tournament for Chinlon.

Some take part in Chinlon exhibition.

Some Burmese players adopted “Pike Kyaw Chin”.

RIT Table Tennis Stars

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With U Win Myint and Stan Liou (RIT Table Tennis)

RIT Table Tennis team players competed at the Inter-collegiate competition are:

  • Team Coach: Saya Mao Toon Siong (M62), who represented Burma four times in International Competitions.
  • U Maung Maung – C67 (aka Chin Kaung Hook – extremely good in Chess)
  • U Win Myint – E67 (aka Hin Lok Kung)
  • U Myat Lwin – Ch67 (GBNF)
  • Stan Liou – M67

Regards,
Stan Liou

Mini-reunion

We met Saya Mao, Ko Stan and Ko Win Myint at the “Red Egg and Ginger” party for the sixth grand child of Ko Benny Tan (M70) and Ma Angelina. We took photos.

  • With Saya Mao Toon Siong
  • With Ko Win Myint and Ko Stan Liou
  • With Ko Benny Tan, Ma Angelina and their grandchild
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With Ko Benny Tan and Angelina
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With Saya Mao Toon Siong (Burma Champion and Coach)

Father and Son

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U Sein Htoon and U Zeyar Linn

U Sein Htoon

He graduated with B.Sc.(Engg) in 1963. His classmates include Saya Dr. Tin Hlaing.

He is a Past Captain and Gold of RUBC (Rangoon University Boat Club).

He was Cox of the RUBC team that won the Willingdon Trophy for Coxed Fours at the ARAE (Amateur Rowing Association of the East) Regatta in Colombo, Ceylon in 1960. The crew comprised of U Tin Htoon (Stroke), U Sunny Teng (3), U Victor Htun Shein (2, GBNF), Dr. Harry Saing (Bow, GBNF) and U Sein Htoon (Cox).

He served as President of the Burma Rowing Federation.

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Boat Club

U Zeyar Linn

U Zeyar Linn graduated with B.E (Mech) in 2001.

He is RUBC Captain/Gold (1996)

Record

U Sein Htoon and U Zeyar Linn have the honor to be the Second Father-Son pair of RUBC Captain and Gold.

Horse Racing

Rangoon Turf Club

In our younger days, Rangoon Turf Club (RTC) held horse races probably every week end.

Newspapers ran columns about the forthcoming horse races and their tips on which horses they think will win (take first place) or place (take second place).

The races are based on the class (e.g. age, height) of the horses. To give a fair chance to the competing horses, the previous winners have to carry a weight (i.e. jockey’s weight and additional weight) more than their challengers.

Three specified races constitute the “Treble Tote“. One has to bet all three winners to claim the Grand Prize.

Many lost time trying to guess the winners and also money betting on the wrong horses.

The then Number One declared that Horse Racing would be banned.

We had never been to the racing ground. Thein Wai (SPHS63) asked several Paulian classmates if they would like to visit the Rangoon Turf Club before it would be closed forever. His father (Dr. Ko Gyi) was a Patron of the Club.

We saw some “Nwa Pwe” (bullock cart races) that supplement the regular horse races.

Grapevine says that the then Number One did not attend the Martyrs’ Day celebrations, since he wanted to be in the UK for the Derby.

U Chit Khine, father of U Myint Khine (Norman, SPHS57, C63), served as Secretary of the Turf Club.

Several Medical Doctors and Businessmen were EC members and Patrons.

U Khin Maung Zaw (KMZ, EC76) wrote :

In the 70s and early 80s, there was a running joke about Hong Kong, where the three most powerful people there were the viceroy, chairman or head of the Chamber of Commerce and the President of the Turf club.

Laughter

  • During our younger days, we laughed a lot.
  • We enjoyed “slapstick comedy” (e.g. Three Stooges, Jerry Lewis, Keystone Kops, Norman Wisdom).
  • We spent hours reading comics (e.g. Beano, Dandy, Topper and Beezer) and seeing cartoons (e.g. Tom & Jerry).
  • We read jokes (e.g. columns from Reader’s Digest).
  • We attended Ah Nyeints with Lu Shwin Daws.

My classmate D. S. Saluja (Dave Singh) would invite me over to his house in Golden Valley to review some subjects. He had a collection of 200+ comics & cartoons. With cartoon breaks and lunch breaks, we often did little with the subject reviews. Dave offered to be the “Humor Editor” for the Bulletin/Newsletter published by RIT English Department.

Over time, we became serious. We could no longer tolerate “stupid jokes”. We felt childish to laugh (without control) for fear that people might judge us as “crazy”.

My friends would comment that they rarely see me smile. The exception is in the photos taken with my life savers — my two grandchildren.

Yesterday, there was a guest lecturer at our Toastmasters Club. She lost her daughter after a stressful marriage and divorce. But, he mother and her friends reminded her the power of laughter (even “fake” laughter) and the destructive power of stress. In the interactive sessions, there were a few exercises:

(1) Clap, clap, shout “Hooray” & smile (even fake a smile)

Try to do it one (e.g. every morning)

(2) Instead of exchanging names, do single and double handshake with lots of laughter (the style and volume do not matter)

Laughter permeates.

(3) In groups of twos and threes, take turns telling “What is my stress?” and listening to “How can you lessen or eliminate the stress?”

Stress can cause lost opportunities, and broken relationships.

A husband (psychoanalyst) and a wife (yoga instructor) in Yoga found (or re-discovered) that “Laughter is the best medicine.”

(4) Dr. Nyunt Wai wrote :

The laughter column in Readers’ Digest was under the title “Laughter the Best Medicine”.

There’s a Burmese saying ရယ္ ေသာ သူ သည္ အ သက္ ရွည္ ၏ (he who laughs lives long).

The recorded jokes of Dat Si and Dat San contained prerecorded collective laughter that followed each joke.

If faking laughter has the same effect as the hearty laughter, then it must be also true for faking anger and despair. Impact of this on the actors and actresses (like U Kyal Ni ၾကယ္နီ၊ U Thein Maung Gyi, Kyi Kyi Htay)?

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1 reply »

  1. The first time I represented RUBC and awarded the “Gold” was at the Independence Day Regatta in 1959/1960 as Cox for Fours against the 20 or so Famous Inle Leg Rowers , (when Ko Tin Htoon was Captain), the Certificate of which I still have in my possession now.

    In 1960, I represented the Club as Vice Captain and the Coxswain of RUBC Fours team with H. Num Pon, Tun Zan, Mya Maung and Than Thoung , in the Inter-varsity races against the Indian University Clubs at the Regatta in Calcutta. In 1961, I again represented the Club leading a team of oarsman for the races in Single Sculls( Ko Tun Shein), Coxed Pairs ( Ko Tin Htoon & Harry Saing with Ko Eddy Hla Min as Cox) , and I was the Cox for Fours which got into Semi-Finals with Ko Tin Htoon, Ko Win Kyi, Victor Htun Shein. And Harry Saing. My last duty to represent the Club in early 1962 was to attend the ARAE Regatta meeting to ask for RUBC to be the venue for the proposed ARAE/FEARA Regatta the following year when my successor
    Ko Sein Htoon would be Captain. I left for further studies in USA immediately thereafter. The proposed ARAE/FEARA Regatta did not materialize due to political unrest. I hope it can take place around the time of RUBC Centennial Celebrations in 2023.

    Like

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