- The group “Gangaw Myay (Hnit Taya Pyie Tekkatho)” was formed to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the founding of Rangoon University.
- The group has grown fast both qualitatively and quantitatively.
- There are 30000+ members at this time of writing. They span several generations.
- Many have posted photos and anecdotes. Several have provided feedback.
Proud and Happy Family
Nyi Nyi (Admin)
- Dr. Nyi Thet Lwin (Group Admin) was brought up on the Campus.
- He wanted to learn first hand accounts about the University of Rangoon and its descendants.
- He is the proud son of Saya Dr. Soe Win (First in Burma in the Matriculation of 1958, Retired Rector of YUFL)and Sayama Daw May Saw Lwin (Retired Chemistry Professor).
- His daughter Ei Lwin achieved grade 9 in all of the nine subjects that she sat in the recent, 2019, GCSE exams in the UK. Following grandpa’s footsteps almost sixty years later!
Aung Mon (Moderator)
- Elder brother of Nyi Nyi
- Studied EcE (Electronics Engineering) and IT
- Works in Singapore.
- Was an organizer for EcE (Electronics Engineering) Reunion and SPZP.
Two SPHS Sayas
- Dr. Soe Win’s father (Saya U Sein) and uncle (Saya U Kyaw Sein) taught at St. Paul;s High School.
- Saya Sein was our Burmese teacher in High School.
- Saya Sein also taught Burmese to Saya U Thet Lwin (Ngwe Hlinne, Composer of “Mya Kyun Nyo Nyo Kun Yeik Kho”).
- Saya Kyaw Sein was Class Teacher for a different section in Std. VII, but he also taught us as a Relieving Teacher.
Mya Kyun Nyo
- U Thet Lwin matriculated from SPHS in 1957.
- Saya at the Burmese Department at the Institute of Economics
- Registrar at the Rangoon Institute of Technology
- Retired as Director at the Department of Higher Education / Education Ministry.
- Distinguished Composer / Pianist
- Pen name : Maung Ngwe Hlinne
- Composed Mya Kyun Nyo
- The song was first recorded as a “Dat Pya” at Myanmar Ah Than (Burma Broadcasting Service).
U Thet Lwin shared the 100 kyats that he received for the Dat Pya with his fellow musicians — U Mya Thein and group — who sang the song.
- The song has also been performed at various gatherings (including the RIT Grand Reunion and Saya Pu Zaw Pwes in Singapore and Yangon).
- There is a YouTube recording by the RIT Ah Nu Pyinnya Shins in Singapore (fondly known as the “Pon Chan Chan Group” led by Don Min U Yu Swan).
- The Count down to the Centennial started on December 1, 2019 with the song “Mya Kyun Nyo”.
- According to Saya Dr. Maung Maung Nyo, the term “Mya Kyun Nyo” was coined by U Nu (First and Last Prime Minister of the Union of Burma, Author, Chancellor of Rangoon University).
The posts have invoked tears of joy as well as tears of sorrow.
Many were happy to see Thit Pope Pinn being recognized by the Yangon Heritage Society. The tree was there even before the founding of the University of Rangoon, and it survived Cyclone Nargis.
Several members posted photos taken in front of the Thit Pope Pinn in the food old days before it was “guarded” by wire fences.
The Old Wise man and Poet (from the late 50s) expressed displeasure to see the inexplicable disappearance of landmarks and the appearance “security” walls and fences.
- Dr. Alvin Oke Soe Kha is the eldest child and only son of Sayagyi Dr. Maung Maung Kha (Saya Kha). He has younger sisters : Maisie, Maythi and Myatmun.
- Had mixed emotions after reading the posts.
- Was sad to know that his former classmate and neighbor Maureen Aung Khin (daughter of Saya U Aung Khin (former Professor of Chemistry) left this world at an early age. He was glad to hear that his best friend Robert Aung Khin is alive and well.
- Shared sweet memories.
- Experienced first hand Saya U Ba Kyi (renowned artist) sing his beautiful translation of “Hna Yauk Hte Nay Chin Dei” (Only Two, Darling) to the accompaniment of the violin by his father Saya Kha. The sayas were Patrons of the “Ah Nu Pyinnya Ah Thinn”.
- Saya Kha was the longest tenured Rector of Rangoon University and RASU.
- His mother Sayama Daw Ruby Kha was National Tennis Champion of Mixed Doubles with Joe Ba Maung.
Saya Joe was also Singles Champion, and Men’s Doubles Champion with U Than Lwin. Saya taught English at RIT before transferring as Manager to Burma Railways. Saya was in charge of the Sports Program of Burma Railways. He was one of the early casualties of 8-8-88 movement.
- Alvin was elected as High School Luyechun for the inaugural Camp at Ngapali in the summer of 1964.
- He represented the Institute of Medicine (1) in Swimming and Water Polo. Their team led by Lyn Aung Thet won Inter-Institute Water Polo competition.
Many posts expressed nostalgia. Some readers felt rejuvenated.
Pat Tin-Win had the courage to request Sayagyi Dr. Ba Than (who was Medical Superintendent of the Japan Khit Say Yone Gyi, Rector of IM(1) and founder of the Zwe Ah Nyeint) to play Myamangiri on the harp, and allow the recording to be used for her friend Rosie to dance at the 1964 Chemistry Fresher Welcome. Sayagyi complied.
Several yearn for the decent food (e.g. Mohinga, Nangyi thoke, Than Bu) that could be obtained at the Canteens for less than a Kyat, and the strong buying power in the good old days before indiscriminate demonetization.
Some (e.g. Saya U Khin Zaw, Chemistry, Worker’s College) remember how the Collegians dressed nicely even before going to the dining hall, and much more elegantly before visiting the Ladies’ Halls.
The ladies and even the young girls (e.g. residents of Bagan Road) sported Burmese attire.
Miss University Pageant was a display of pristine form and beauty. Daw Thitsar Lwin posted beautiful photos of her mother Daw Mary Soe Yin (Miss University for 1958 – 59).
Those who chose to stay in hostels have fond memories of the various functions (e.g. by Thahaya and Sar Phutt Ah Thinn — Social and Reading Clubs), the Inter-Hall and Inter-Institute Sporting Events (e.g. at Aung San Stadium).
Per Daw Nyunt Nyunt Tin, she was a Day Scholar, but she spent a lot of time at Marlar Hall (known not just for beauties but for the excellent sports teams).
A few tried Rowing at the Rangoon University Boat Club (RUBC).
The pioneer female rowers were from the Institute of Economics and RASU (partly because they are close to RUBC). They were later joined from other Institutes (e.g. RIT, IM(1), Education).
Some remember the musical evenings and nights by Pho So Chins. Tekkatho Tun Naung (then a Dental College Student) would play mandolin in front of the Ladies’ Halls (e.g. Inya Hall). He would later co-found the Stereo Khit.
A senior alumni recalled how the Conductors on the Naga (Dragon) Line Buses were cordial.
The later buses would have Numbers instead of Pictures.
Sayama Daw May Saw Lwin remembered her days at Yankin College where Saya U Ba Toke (who was born in December 1920 as a Phwa Bet Taw of the University of Rangoon, and the First RU Students Strike) would address the students as “Ladies and Gentlemen”.
Metta and Cetana
Many are proud of their alma mater, which had produced sons and daughters who excelled not only in academia — in Burma/Myanmar and beyond — but also in Sports, Ah Nu Pyinnya and Public Service.
The not so young students appreciate the Metta and Cetana of their mentors (sayas and sayamas).
There have been Acariya Pu Zaw Pwes and Saya Pu Zaw Pwes.
One such gathering hosted by the Chemistry alumni showed the elderly sayas and sayamas (who are 70+ years young) on the Stage, and those (who are 60+ years young) in front.
I was fortunate to be an organizer for the RIT Grand Reunion and Saya Pu Zaw Pwes. The first SPZP was held in San Francisco, California, USA in 2000. The Singapore alumni hosted the SPZPs in 2002, 2007 and 2010. The Myanmar alumni hosted the SPZPs in 2004, 2012 and 2016. The next SPZP will be held in 2020.
The precious memories are shared by alumni — young and old, far and near, weak and strong — via pictures, anecdotes, poems (in both Burmese and English).
Sharing is Caring
There are many Subject Matter Experts (SME) in the group. They can share their knowledge, experience and wisdom.
- Sayas and Sayamas
Retired, Semi-retired, Active
- Family members of Sayas and Sayamas
Children, Grand children and Great grandchildren
- Ah Nu Pyinnya Shins
Dancers (Minthas, Minthamees)
Lu Shwin Daws
Selection for Halls, Disciplines and Classes
- Organizers and/or Executive Committee Members
Social and Reading Club
Retired, Semi-retired, Active