Update : November 28, 2020
- Saya U Tin Maung Nyunt is a day older than Saya Allen Htay (GBNF).
- Their birthdays are December 30th and December 31st.
- They would share their experiences with the younger people over lunch.
- The two sayas bonded on the long return journey by sea from USA where they did their graduate studies in Agricultural Engineering and Civil Engineering.
- There were three other Burmese on that trip.
Two of them were U Soe Paing and U Ko Ko Lay.
- They played Bridge (a card game for four players).
- The journey was lengthened by a strike at a port in Ceylon (Sri Lanka).
It gave the sayas an opportunity to visit Kandy.
- Saya Allen Htay (C58) joined the Civil Engineering Department as Assistant Lecturer.
He retired as Lecturer and moved to USA.
- U Tin Maung Nyunt (M60) worked briefly for a JVC (Joint Venture Corporation) run by his relative. He applied for States Scholar after seeing an advertisement in the newspaper.
Upon his return, he was assigned to Yezin Agricultural College. Before reporting for duty, he visited RIT to pay respect to Saya U Ba Than who asked Saya U Tin Maung Nyunt if he would like to join the Agricultural Engineering (Sub-department of Mechanical Engineering).
He moved to Thailand and then USA (where he reunited with Saya Allen Htay).
Saya U Tin Maung Nyunt
Saya feels blessed for three occasions. They involve the simple joys of life.
Food was scarce during the war time. Saya’s mother had a small jar of oil to cook. Occasionally, she would give “See nei Sar” (oil and salt) to eat rice. Saya remembers that as a “Nutt Thokedar” (delicacies of the deities).
After the Japanese evacuated, the Allied planes still strafe suspect targets. Since there was no available transport, Saya and his did had to trek a long time to the nearest “safe haven”. Saya had “htamin chauk and a tomato”. He had to ration his food to survive the journey. The small bites brought a lot of joy — that cannot be equaled by later all-you-can-eat buffet.
Saya lives in California, USA. One year, he went to Myanmar to participate in a meditation retreat outside Yangon. Probably due to side effects of taking some medicine, there was swfor elling in the body and the face. It was “Kan So” (bad luck). Two dhamma friends took him to a nearby hospital where the doctor and the staff treated him well. It was “Kan Kaung” (good luck). The services were good and the costs were reasonable.
Saya stayed fit by doing exercises (hiking, stationary bike) and by practicing meditation.
He had an operation a couple of years back. He has recovered fully.
Saya donated for the Training Component of the YTU Library Project and also to the General Fund of Cal RIT Alumni Association.
Saya Allen Htay
Saya Allen Htay was special in his own ways.
He would take different routes (going out and then coming back) to enjoy nature and the scenery. (
He took me to a BAPS picnic. After he told me that it was time to leave, it took an hour (or so) to reach his car. It was a typical “Burmese Good Bye” greeting his colleagues, friends and former students along the way.
He would often arrive late and stay late at gatherings.
Saya remembered that his mother would take the food (which a child refused to eat) and put in the fridge. There was no concession. When the child felt really hungry, he or she will devour the food.
Saya was the de facto leader of the San Francisco Bay Area RIT Alumni Group. He served as President of “RIT Alumni International” which organized the First RIT Grand Reunion and Saya Pu Zaw Pwe in Northern California, USA in October. His article “Brother, can you afford US 500 dollars?” resulted in having five Golden Sponsors for SPZP-2000.
He attended SPZPs in Singapore and Myanmar, and took photographs at the SF Bay Area Gatherings.
During a visit to Las Vegas for the MEHS Reunion (along with his spouse who matriculated from MEHS in 1957), Saya had a stroke. He briefly recovered, but finally succumbed to his illness.
He retired twice in the USA, but his former students offered him jobs to “un-retire”.
Two of his grandsons have Allen in their names : one as a first name, and another as a middle name.