Update : March 19, 2020
Many years ago, U Myint Thein (Michael, SPHS68, M74, Singapore) wrote the article for the ex-rit.org web site and RIT Alumni International Newsletter.
Saya U Hla Min & Ko KMZ,
After going through the ex-RIT web site, I felt that I should write about my unforgettable days at RIT. Initially I was hesitant to write because my English is not very good. After I read the newsletters, I found out that saya U Hla Min encouraged us to send the information about Alumni by using any kind of language like Singlish and even Burglish. That remark prompted me to start writing. I have visited all the sections provided in the site and I have viewed all the photographs. I saw some of the Sayas and friends in the photographs, but I am wondering why I never saw their names in the alumni list even though their names are listed in the photographs. I also have some photos but unfortunately they are not with me right now. I left all the photos at home in Burma.
As I cannot post the photographs on our website at the moment, let me instead contribute some of my joyful life in RIT and write about the sayas, sayamas and alumni whom I could recall. I am also one of the Old Paulians, but I’m very junior to my brothers like saya U Hla Min. Michael Lim (Aung Gyi, C74), Myo Thant (EP74) and Htay Lwin Nyo (EP74) in your alumni list are also from SPHS who passed the BEHS exam in 1968 together with me.
High School Days
When I was at 7th standard at St. Paul’s High School in 1964/65, our school was nationalized by the government and was renamed State High School No. (6), Botahtaung. Although it was changed to SHS, we were fortunate to have some good teachers still with us until end of our studies there. We were the last to sit the High School Final Exam in 1967. After that were no more HSF exams. Students need to sit two government exams named Basic Education Middle School (8th standard) and Basic Education High School (10th standard or matriculation).
I had done well in the so called BEHS exam in 1968 and could join RIT as a Mechanical Engineering student. Major professionals were segregated from the first year but most of the lectures were almost same like Basic Engineering Drawing, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, English and Burmese. Mechanical Engineering Students had to attend the classes together mostly with Metallurgical Engineering Students and Textile Engineering students. The ex-RIT web site drove my memories back to the 70’s at RIT. I can’t forget that we made paper arrows and threw them to the few precious ladies seated at the front rows. (There were 9 ladies in our Mechanical class and it was the largest number of female Mechanical students since the engineering classes started in Burma.) The number of female students increased when we were required to attend the class together with either Textile or Metallurgy students. And it was the time that Mechanical students including me were busy preparing lots of arrows to strike them. Our sisters were not angry at all; they knew this was not an insult and they forgave us always.
If we talk about RIT, we can not leave Nway Aye café and U Chit‘s cold drinks shop. Those were the places for us to relax and chat. Sometimes those places were also the places of discussion not only for the lessons we learnt in classes but also our personal matters. Those were also the places where we debated and sometimes get into heated arguments. There is probably no alumnus who is not aware of those places. Every Friday morning at every corner and entrance of RIT, we were busy selling the “Set Hmu Thadinzin” to fellow students and almost always either we were late or AWOL for the first lecture of that day.
During 1968 to 1974, we had learnt a lot of lessons from our sayas and sayamas who taught us not only the subjects in the syllabus but also from the real life. Those sayas and sayamas during these days whom I could recall include the following. U Yone Mo was the Rector and Dr U Aung Gyi was his successor. Saya U Hla was the Registrar and his successor was Saya U Thet Lwin. Daw Myint Myint Khin was the Librarian.
Other sayas and sayamas who taught us include :
Physics Department : (1) U Hlwan Moe (2) Daw May Than Nwe (3) Saya Robert (4) Daw Khin Swe Aye (Emily)
Mathematics Department : (1) U Sein Shan (2) Sayagyi U Ba Toke (3) Daw Myint Nyan (4) Daw Khine Nyan (5) U Shwe Aung (6) Daw Myint Myint Khine (7) Dr. Thaung Myint
English Department : (1) Daw Yin Yin Mya (2) Daw Khin Khin Chit Maung
Burmese Department : (1) U Tein Kyi
Chemistry Department : (1) Dr. Maung Kyaw (2) U Hla Shwe
Mechanical Department : (1) U Aung Khin (2) U Ba Than (3) U Tin Hlaing (deceased) (4) U Kyin Soe (5) U Tu Myint (6) U Mao Toon Siong (6) U Lin (7) U Kyaw Sein (8) U Maung Maung Win (9) U Soe Lwin (10) U Phone Myint (11) U Tin Maung Oo (12) U Tin Htut, Lecturer (13) U Tun Shwe (14) U Khin Maung Tin (15) U Arya (16) U Kyaw Aye (17) Dr. Tin Hlaing (18) U Kyi (19) U Lay Aung (20) U Han Tun
Electrical Department : (1) U Kyaw Tun (2) U Kyaw Lwin (Deceased) (3) U Sein Maung (4) U Moe Aung
Metallurgy Department : (1) Dr. Saw Phru (2) U Aung Hla Tun
I have left out many sayas and sayamas, as we met some of them only for a short time, and some of them we used to call by their nicknames all the times and therefore forgot their real names. My apologies for my inability to recall all the names of sayas and sayamas. Although I can’t recall the names, all sayas and sayamas are always in my heart, and I always pay respect to them and pray for their good health and wealth.
I graduated from RIT in 1974, and joined Heavy Industries Corporation in 1975. Then I was transferred to No (2) Industry [under the same corporation] which produced Tractors. Since then I lost contact with many friends and sayas as the location of our factory was quite difficult to visit and the transportation & communication were also not in good shape. But we were still happy to serve for our mother country and we enjoyed our lives together with our colleagues who are from the same institute.
Those who joined the Heavy Industries Corporation with me are
No (1) Industry and Head Office (Yangon) : (1) Kyu Kyu Lwin (C74, deceased) (2) Khin Maung Cho (M73) (3) Nyan Win (M74) (4) Thidar Swe (Met74) (5) Ni Ni Than (M74) (6) Ni Ni Win (Che74) (7) Ma Ah Pyone (C73) (8) Khin Nyo Win (M74?)
No (2) Industry : (1) Kyaw Sein Win (Met74) (2) Maung Maung Win (M73) (3) Myint Thein (Michael, M74) (4) Le Le Oo (EP 73) (5) Nwe Nwe Win (Met74) (6) Ma Hla Htwe (EP74)
No (3) Industry, Sinde : (1) Tin Ko (Met 74, deceased) (2) Thein Myint (M73?) (3) Soe Myint (M74) (4) Kyi Myint (M74?)
No (4) Industry, Htone Bo : (1) Than Soe (M73) (2) Myint Thein (M74)
The alumni who were also working (during 1976 to 90) at Myanma Heavy Industries, No (2) Industry, Malun include : (1) Lt. Col Aung Pe (EP?) (2) Lt. Col Kyaw Win (Met?) (3) Maj Hla Shwe (M?) (4) U Min Swe (M?) (5) U Aung Min (Che70) (6) U Thein Aung (M72) (7) U Thein Aung (M72) Singapore (8) U Tin Hlaing (EP72?) (8) U Victor Aung Myin (M72, ex RIT football selection) (9) Maj Myo Win (Met 72, ex RIT football selection) (10) Capt Ohn Myint (M72?) (11) Capt Than Win (M71, deceased in1982) (12) U Soe Min (EP74) (13) U Than Ngwe (EP 75) (14) U Hla Than (M77?) (15) U Kyi Win (Met 77) (16) U Tin Shein (M73?) (17) U Tin Maw Thein @ Maw Si (M75) (18) Daw May May Than (EP76) (19) Daw Nyunt Than (ChE77) (20) Daw Mya Lay (M76) (21) U Kyaw Kyaw Oo (C75) (22) U Lwin Oo (EP75?) (23) Mya Mya Lwin (Stella, EP 75) (24) U Nay Win (Met ?, ex-RIT football selection) (25) U Khin Maung Kyi (C?) (26) U Tin Pe (Met79) (27) U Win Tin (Met79?) (28) U Kyi Htay (M?) (29) U Soe Naing (M79)
The younger generation who graduated in or after 1980 include : (1) U Khin Maung Myint (2) U Soe Win (3) U Min Aung (4) U Kyaw Soe (5) U Soe Hlaing (6) U Pe Win (7) U Kyaw Kyaw Soe (8) U Mya Kyaing (9) U Tan Gin Sut Man (10) U Khin Maung Htun (11) Daw May Than Win (12) Daw Yin Yin Nyunt (13) U Tun Tun Win (14) U San Win
Moving to new pasture
After working 16 years for the organization, I resigned in April ’93. I didn’t know how to earn my living and I had only few amount of money with me at that time. Same like many people who worked in the government organizations all the time as civil servants and after they retired or resigned they did not know how to do the business outside or how to start the life again.
Fortunately one day I met my old friends from RIT and they advised me to go and work outside Burma. I got contact with some of my old friends who were working abroad. My relatives and my friends encouraged me to leave the country and work abroad. My beloved wife also allowed me to go. I decided to go to Singapore as it was the place with many job opportunities for engineers and also it is not so far from our mother land.
I flew to Singapore on November 93 and started looking for a job. I tried hard, but it was in vain. I felt tempted to blame my luck as that was the hard time to get an employment pass. I had to fly to Bangkok in Feb’ 94 and wait there until my Employment Pass was approved. At last I received a call from Singapore informing that my employment pass had been approved.
A year later, my wife was able to rejoin me in Singapore. My wife is Kyi Kyi Than @ Kitty who graduated from Institute of Economics in 1973. She is an old Augustinian. We do not have kids and both are working in Singapore.
Electronic Set Hmu Thadin Zin ?
I would like to encourage my dear alumni. Do not hesitate to write. Practice makes perfect, grind and sharpen your pen, polish and brighten your talents and improve your English by contributing your experiences and ideas. I would also like to suggest the webmaster to provide Burmese font in our web site if possible, so that those who like to write articles or short stories or even poems and cartoons in Burmese, can contribute their skills to our web site. If you provide so, I hope “Set Hmu Thadinzin” can be alive again in our web site.
I would like to advise our alumni to share their own experiences related to RIT, or alumni, or experiences at work, or any experiences. So that other alumni can learn and help by solving the problems (if any) or contributing ideas. Also can fill the blanks which you can’t recall, (eg. ? in my alumni list) or amend whatever is not correct. Some of our alumni might be hesitant to write or speak in English even they are working abroad. As it is not required to write or speak in English in our country, many Burmese are reluctant to do so even when they are abroad.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
- Editor’s note:
- ex-rit.org web site has retired, but the memories linger on.
- Ko Myint Thein volunteered for the SPZPs held in Singapore.
- Many sayas and alumni that he listed are GBNF.
- Several ex-HIC meet almost monthly in Yangon. They include U Than Htut (M67, RUBC Gold), U Tin Aung Win (Oscar, M69), U Ohn Khine (M70), and U Ye Myint (EP72).