By Saya U Maung Maung Win (M61)
There were three main buildings.
Building One was three-storey with teaching classes, laboratory and theatres and offices for teaching staffs of Mechanical, Civil, Chemical, Math, Chemistry and English.
Building Two was two-storey building with teaching classes, laboratory, Workshop and offices for teaching staff of Textiles, Mining, Electrical, Burmese and Political Science.
Building Three was just single-storey building with laboratory rooms, teaching classes and offices for teaching staff of Mechanical and Metallurgy.
Then we have students dormitories and hostels Blocks A, B, C, D, E and F and two dining rooms and cooking facilities were connected with the main building through a passage/corridor with under cover, all along so that staff and students cars could park.
Let me say something about teaching-staff quarters on the campus such as
- 16 A, B, C, D, E and F, two-storey 4-unit buildings for assistant lecturers and later for instructors too;
- 15 A, B, C, D, E and F, two-storey 2-unit buildings for lecturers
- 14 A, B, C, D, E and F, two-storey single-unit buildings for heads of departments and professors
- a single building called the Green House bigger than 14 series meant for the residence of rector of the Institute.
Also we have two-unit buildings of different sizes for clerical staff, technicians and laboratory assistants and other six-unit quarters for cleaners, securities, cooks, butlers etc at the back of the teaching staff quarters. The RIT campus including all teaching staff and employees was treated as a village/ward so it had its own social and basic amenities like clinic, ward and township councilors.
Slowly one by one those teaching staff/ teachers who were sent overseas as state scholars to acquire Masters came back namely U San Tun, U Tin Hlaing, U Allen Htay, U San Hla Aung, U Win Kyaing, U Kyin Soe etc. and thus visiting lecturers from the Colombo Plan stopped coming so also those on contract staff from India.
At that time I was so eager to have Masters Degree which was my wishful thinking. Fortunately U Ba Than nominated me in 1966, thanks and appreciation for his wise choice and later after appearing for personal interview before many rectors, departments heads and many ministers including the then Education Minister Dr U Nyi Nyi, I got selected to study in Canada. That time as the country was marching towards Socialism the majority of the students selected for further studies were sent to the Communist Block such as Russia, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, GDR, the Republic of China, Poland etc and only a small portion minority was sent to English-speaking countries like Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. Because of language difficulty many took longer to finish and also some came back without any degree.
Those who were successful had to attend the political and English and language course for three months at the training centre near the Inya Lake in June 68. After the training I left home from East stopping in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Alaska, Vancouver and then in Hamilton, Ontario. My university is McMaster which is very close to Niagara Falls which again is a few miles from the Rainbow Bridge, USA.
A year later five chemistry students arrived to study in the same university for their PhDs and I had an opportunity to help them in finding accommodation and making friends with them. One of them is Daw Khin Mar Htun, the daughter of the then Burmese Ambassador Thakin Chan Htun to Canada and hence sometimes later we all were invited to his residence in Ottawa to spend 4-5 days. I met U Pe Win (Metallurgy, RIT) in Toronto many times when he was doing his Masters and later on his return, he also became rector of the Institute when I left the Institute in 1980 for Australia. I find him very polite and friendly because he was my high school teacher’s nephew in Moulmein. When I finished my study I returned home from the West visiting London, Rome, Beirut, New Delhi, from there to the Taj Mahal a gigantic marble palace really incredible and breath-taking built by a king for his wife in Agra, arriving back home on 9 Dec 70, the day right hand drive was introduced.
Sayagyi Prof. U Ba Toke who retired as the rector of the Mandalay University came back and joined as the special Math Professor in RIT and as he was matriculation Math Convenor he invited all of us to correct Math papers of students all over Burma, in his department during summer holiday thereby we came to know him better. Once I met him in Singapore in Dec 02 at the Ex-RIT Reunion, to my surprise he called me by name which shows that he has a very sharp vivid memory. With this paper I acknowledge and give thanks and appreciation for his generosity and friendship.