Ohn Khine

Updated : July 15, 2019

  • Thanks a lot Ko Zaw Min [Nawaday] for your interesting reminiscences.
  • I am looking forward to see more of them.
  • I would like to sprinkle some sesame (Nhan Phyu).


The boxing tournament was held in the lawn in front of C and D block. I remember two of our seniors went up the ring and had some jovial boxing making us LOL. Ko Zaw Win and Ko Min Kyi (both M 67) were the two, if I can rely on my memory. There was no square concrete monument at that time.

Sayas and Sayamas at RIT in 1964

The list is not comprehensive. It contains the names of most RIT sayas in 1964 (when we started attending classes).

There are several sayas (Dr. Aung Gyi, U Aung Khin, …) who were abroad on deputation, and some who did not teach us.

Burmese Department: Head: U Tein Kyi,
U Tin Shwe, Daw Khin Than Myint, Daw Hla Myint, U Tin Win, …

English Department: Head: Daw Yin Yin Mya
Daw Khin Win Kyi, U Sao Kan Gyi (GBNF), Daw Naw Charity Sein Oo, U Joe Ba Maung (GBNF), Mr. Desmond Rodgers, U Kyaw Lwin Hla, …

Maths Department: Head: U Sein Shan (GBNF)
U Shwe Hlaing, U Ko Ko Gyi (GBNF), U Tun Shein (GBNF), U Aung Soe, U Than Lwin, …

Physics Department: Head: Daw Nyein (GBNF)
Daw May Than Nwe (GBNF), U Saw Hlaing (GBNF), Mr. Robert Pho Rein (GBNF), U Nyunt Yin, Daw Thaung Nwe, Daw Aye Yi, …

Chemistry Department: Head: U Kyaw Tun
Daw May Chit, Daw A Mar Sein, U Morris Kyaw Zaw, Daw Win Win, U Ba Ti, Daw Rosie Kwet Kaw, Daw Win Myaing, U Pike Htwe, Daw Tin May Latt (Betty, GBNF), Daw Than Than (GBNF), …

Mechanical Department: Head: U Ba Than
U Kyin Soe, U Tin Hlaing, U Mg Mg Win, U Tu Myint, U Arya, U Soe Lwin, U S Kyaw Aye, U Phone Myint, U Win, U Khin Mg (GBNF), U Myo Win (GBNF), U Tin Htut, U Han Tun (GBNF), …

Electrical Dept. Head: U Sein Hlaing (GBNF)
U Kyaw Tun (GBNF), U Tin Swe (GBNF), U Sein Win (GBNF), U Soe Paing, U Khine Oo, U Myo Kyi, U Sein Mg, U Ba Myint, U Tin Shwe (GBNF), U Thein Lwin (GBNF), U Soe Min (GBNF), U Nyi Nyi, …

Chemical Dept. Head: U Khin Aung Kyi
Dr. Hla Myint, …

Civil Department: Head: U Min Wun
Dr. San Hla Aung, U Allen Htay (GBNF), U Khin Mg Phone Ko, U Thein Dan, …

Metallurgy Dept. Head: U Thit (GBNF)
U Aung Hla Tun, …

Mining Department Head: U Soon Sein (GBNF)
U Win Kyaing (GBNF), …

Textile Department: Head: U Maung Maung Than (GBNF)
U Shwe Yi (GBNF), Daw Tin Tin Ohn (GBNF), …

Architecture Dept. Head: U Myo Myint Sein
Dr. Lwin Aung, …

Workshop Dept Head: Mr. Simons (GBNF)
U Phone Myint, …

Librarian: Daw Myint Myint Khin (GBNF)


We had to do practical works on blacksmith and carpentry in the first year. All first year students male and female had to do it. Mr. Simons, father of Victoria Simons (Met 70), was head of the department and U Phone Myint assistant head. Most popular among students was U Chit the blacksmith. U Chit had passed away a few years back.

Food stalls

The so called canteen in our first year days was a small open air building with roof and sort of concrete flooring, just like a zayat. But the location is very strategic for us male students. The road from the roofed walkway leading to G Hall is in front of it so G Hall students and their friends had to use that only road going to and from the main building to the Hall. Just imagine how much we enjoy sitting in the canteen. Of course one thing is we had no choice than to eat Si Kyet Khauk Swel, drink tea coffee or cold drinks at that canteen. I remember the price of the Si Kyet Khauk Swe was 50 pyas, and special one 75 pyas.

There was also a stall selling tit bits (snacks, cigars, cigarettes and betel) at the corner of the roofed walkway from the main building to dining hall and hostels. (That walkway covered the sunshine only but couldn’t cover the heavy rains with strong winds. We all were soaked like rats in water pail sometimes walking along that walkway in the rainy seasons.) The owner of the stall was a middle-aged lady. Later U Chit also opened a Mont Hin Ga stall in the mornings near the dining hall. There was also a food shop at Gyogone junction outside the RIT compound known as Ma Tin Aye’s shop.

The new open shed to accommodate food stalls was built on the space between the small canteen and dining hall. I am not sure when new stalls came in to sell foods. At the time there was only one shed facing the dining hall. Later another shed was built on the opposite side also.

I remembered the shop named “Aung Theik Pan”, especially the two siblings of the owner. They are Po Po, elder girl and her young brother Aw Tee. Of course we couldn’t go to that shops frequently but sometimes when we had sponsors and during the holidays when the dining hall was closed.

Film Shows

The film shows at the Assembly Hall once a week were enjoyable. There were good films both foreign and local. Thin and lanky Ko Khin Mg Yin was the electrician and operated the film projector. He had passed away already.

Summer training and courses

During our 2nd year summer holidays, some students who didn’t join UTC camp attended the First Aid course. I attended the course but couldn’t recall my memory about it.

From 3rd year onward, we had to undergo practical industrial training at factories and dockyards during the summer holidays. It was compulsory. I did my training at Mandalay Dockyard (3rd year) Amarapura B.E.M.E base workshop (4th year), and Union of Burma Research Institute (5th and Final year).

Architecture students went to places where they can see and learn about the historical buildings and our ancestors’ architectural talents.

Civil Engineering students went to Maymyo for the practical training on Surveying and other related studies. Other engineering disciple students went to their related industrial factories. These arrangements were beneficial to us and the industrial experiences we gained were of much help later in our work life.

Hostel life

As a hostel student we have to mingle not only with our classmates but also with our seniors and juniors. Due to our moving from one block to another at random rather than stay put in one block and room, our circle of friends become bigger and bigger as we advance to our final years.

From second year onward, the blocks and rooms were allocated by drawing lots. So we did not know which hall will be our next year’s place and who our neighbors will be. We can choose our room mates in advance. The floors of the blocks are already fixed for which year students to stay. The uppermost floors of A,B,C,D,E blocks, corridor rooms between A&B, B&C, and D&E are mostly for fifth and final year students. F block is for final year students only. Inle Hall is mainly for first year students.With this system of allocating rooms, we tend to have more close friends with those from one year senior and one year junior. I think this is one main factor in fostering our RIT spirit which we showed vehemently in Inter-Institute Sports meetings (as Ko Zaw Min mentioned), and later in our work and social lives.

How I got my nickname “Gaing Gyi”

Brother asked my father what my name was. When he told my name, the brother put down on paper as “Ohn Gaing” with the guttural sound of the second word. I was an overweight and chubby boy then. I remembered whenever I put on long pants our family doctor would call me “Lu Win Sin Nauk Paing” and told me that it was not an English name but the hind part of Kyauk Se Elephant.

Those who had seen the Kyauk Se Elephant will have in their eyes how I look like at that time. From thence my friends jokingly called me “Gan Gyi” meaning big hip. Up till Matriculation class I was called by that name among friends. Rarely will they call me “Ohn Khine”.

When I joined RIT together with eleven of our friends from St Peter’s, these friends were so used to call me “Gaing Gyi” before. So after a while, I was known by that name among my friends’ friends, and they started to call me by that name. Some called me “Khine Gyi”, but the guttural sound seemed like easy to call and that was how I came to be called. In my work also my colleagues addressed me by that name up till now. I changed my name’s spelling to “Ohn Khine” when I joined RIT.

Editor’s Notes:

We request sayas and colleagues to point out the errors and discrepancies.

Supplementary material

  • Memories of RIT by Ko Zaw Min Nawaday (EP70)
  • Articles by Daw Than Yi (EP70, “Maubin Ma Shwe Than”)
  • Pamphlets/booklets by the “Combined 1st BE Intake of 64 and 65”
  • Photo Albums in Facebook pages
  • RIT Students’ Guide (e.g. one in possession by Ko Benny Tan (M70)
  • HMEE-2012 by Saya U Aung Hla Tun & team
  • Draft segments of HMEE-2018 by Saya U Aung Hla Tun & team
  • RIT Alumni International Newsletter and Updates

Categories: Uncategorized

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