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Newsletter in May 1999 (Revised)

In the beginning, there was no RIT (Rangoon Institute of Technology) and of course no BE (Bachelor of Engineering). There was only the BOC College of Engineering, Rangoon University. Sayagyi U Ba Hli (former Principal of GTI and Professor of Civil Engineering) was the Dean of Engineering. The degree conferred was B.Sc. (Engg).

Saya Allen Htay (C58) remembers that the Dean wanted every engineering student to attend at least one common course with his/her senior batch. Thus, by the time one graduates, everyone will be familiar with
three batches: one’s own, one senior, and one junior.

In the Summer of 1961, engineering classes were moved to Gyogone Campus. The Faculty of Engineering was also known as BIT (Burma Institute of Technology). Sayagyi U Yone Moe (Retired Chief Engineer of Railways) served as Dean. The fledgling Sayas included Dr. Aung Soe (C61), U Maung Maung Win (M61) and Dr. San Tint (EE61). The Final Year Engineering students included Saya S. Arya (M62), Saya Mao Toon Siong (M62), Saya Dr. Tin Win (M62), Daw Khin Than Nwe (Margaret, T62) and U Than Se (Richard, ChE62).

In anticipation for the opening of more engineering institutes the name was later changed to RIT (Rangoon Institute of Technology).

Several years back, RIT became YIT (Y for Yangon). Now, there’s an MIT (M for Mandalay) and an engineering branch of DSA. The latest name for RIT is YTU (Yangon Technological University).

It’s been a long time since I had to sit at the last row [according to the seating plan — you cannot take the exams unless you have 75% attendance] of the “Surveying” course taught by Saya U Min Wun. The field work was supervised by Saya U Aung Soe. I noticed that I could no longer read the blackboard and became “four eyes“.

I started compiling a list of RIT alumni and ex-faculty after I received emails from Saya U Soe Paing (my mentor at RIT and UCC).

I received encouraging words. Better still, a lot of people including

  • K C Chiu (Dr. Tin Aung, ChE 63)
  • Ko Myat Htoo (Civil 68)
  • Ko Aung Khin (EP 68)
  • Ko Tint  Lwin (a) Danny (Mech 69)
  • Saw Yu Tint (a) Alice (Tex 69)
  • Lei Lei Myaing (a) Amy (Tex 70)
  • Than Than Yi (Tex 71)
  • Ko Thein Aung (a) James (Met 72)
  • Ko San Lin (a) Robert (EC 73)
  • Maurice Chee (Mech 75)
  • Ko Khin Maung Zaw (EC 76)
  • Ko Hla Kyi (EC 77)
  • Ko San Myint Thane (a) Sammy (EC 79)
  • Ko Aung Win Myint (a) Kevin (EC 80)
  • Ko Aung Myint Oo (EC 84)
  • Ko Yu Ket (EC 85)
  • Ko Nyunt Than (Mech 86)
    contributed to the list.
    They have also become the de facto Class Representatives.

On most Internet newsgroups, there are 20 – 100 readers for every writer. In our case, we have more contributors and active readers who provide useful feedback. The list has grown to 280+, and still
growing. I gained (or re-gained) contact with my Sayas (including Saya U Min Wun and Saya U Aung Soe), classmates, and schoolmates. Also, I learned that there have been semi-reunions and reunions in California, Singapore, Sydney, and Rangoon/Yangon.

I hope this newsletter will serve as a starting point for a “Virtual (world-wide) reunion” and also bring back fond memories. Saya U Soe Paing, Ko Tint Lwin/Danny, and Ko Myat Htoo have promised to write in the forthcoming newsletters.

From UK, Saya U Soe Paing (EC) wrote :

    During our recent visit to Burma, I saw Ko Tin Htut in Rangoon. He told us that Dr Aung Gyi would be visiting Burma. We managed to contact Dr Aung Gyi and we had a small get together at our house. The
following came. Dr Aung Gyi and Ma Emma, Dr Khin Maung Win (Metallurgy) and Margaret, Ko Kyin Soe & Chit Chit, Ko Sein Win (Electrical Power), Soe Min (my classmate and ex Instructor in RIT) and Dr. Than Htaike (Chemical Engineering). Han Tin (Rector of the Institute of Education) was also there.
    Played golf with Ko Maung Maung Than. He is now the advisor at the DSA Engineering college in Maymyo. They have appointed retired RIT sayas. S. Arya is one of them and I met him in town.
    Also saw Ko Thein Lwin in Rangoon and Ko Tu Myint & Myitzu in Singapore.

From Singapore, Saya U Tu Myint (Mech) wrote :

    Thanks for the info. Nice to talk about the good old days. I think its a good idea to keep Old RIT Colleagues informed, especially when we are getting old.
    Awaiting for more news. Perhaps scan in some photos.

From Los Angeles (California), Saya U Min Wun (Civil) wrote :

     Ko Hla Min, what a surprise to get in touch with you again after such a long time. Sorry for this late response. My PC was disconnected from the Network after Y2K Remediation. Anyhow, my name has already
been included in the Ex-RIT listing.
    Thanks for the long list. Please keep in touch.

From Chicago (Illinois), Saya Dr. Aung Soe (Civil) wrote :

     Ko Hla Min: Thanks for the list. U Chin Way from LA passed away a few years ago. Aung Myint Thwin, one of my students, is in Singapore.
I was told Aye Win Kyaw, ex civil staff, is also in Singapore.
   
     Thanks for the photo [of the RIT Sayas; photo credit: Saw Yu Tint (Alice)].
With certainty I can name the followings :  U Ba Than, U Sein Win, U San Tint, U Tin Maung

Saya U Soe Paing (EC) added :

    Here are the names of the RIT Sayas in the picture:

Front row L to R:
    Ko Kyaw Thein (Civil) {picture not really clear}, Ko Shwe Yi (Tex),  Ko Myo Kyi (E), Ko Sann Tint (E), Ko Sein Win (E), U Ba Than (Mech), U Sein Shan (Math), Ko Khin Maung (Mech), Ko Kyin Soe (Auto/Mech), Ko
Ba Myint (E).

Back row L to R:
    Christopher Maung (Civil), S. Arya (Mech), U Kyaw (Arch), Ko Phone Myint (Workshop), Ko Soe Minn (E), Ko Tin Maung (Civil), Ko S. Kyaw Aye (Mech), Ko Han Tun (Mech), Ko Kyaw Sein I (Mech), Ko Kyi (Mech),
Ko Soe Lwin (Mech), Ko Tin Win (Civil), Ko Kyaw Win (Mining or Petroleum).

From Danville (California), Saya U Myat Htoo (Civil 68) wrote :

     I would like to make a proposition that I hope you will agree. Why don’t we organize an “Old RIT Colleagues/Graduates” get-together sometime in this Summer? Saya Allen Htay and myself were talking about it a couple of weeks ago. Actually, we have done a similar gathering of Civil Engineers in San Francisco about twelve years ago while Dr. Aung Gyi and Mama Emma were visiting us.

     I think it’s about time to have a gathering for RIT graduates of all principles.  My suggestion is to do it in San Francisco since I think it has a biggest concentration of RIT graduates. We could ask U
Nyo Win and Maurice Chee for their help. This is  just my thought.

From Japan, Saya Dr. Myo Khin (Civil 70) wrote :

     You have done a great job for the RIT old boys and teachers. I’ve been in Japan for ten years already and doing the same job as teaching at the University.
     This coming October 1999, I will be attending the ACI fall convention in Baltimore, Maryland.
     Please say hello to all our friends and Sayas in the states.

From Singapore, U Tint Lwin (Danny) (Mech 69) wrote :

     We had a great 30th re-union of our 1969 RIT Graduates in Rangoon, Burma on Feb. 20, 1999. About 120 of the graduates and about 30 lecturers attended. We really had a great time. The organizers told
us that starting from year 2000, our 1969 graduates would have a re-union dinner every last Saturday in December every year. That’s a good idea and we can pass the word around and we could try to plan our
holidays accordingly.

From UK, Daw Saw Yu Tint (Alice) (Tex 69) wrote :

     There was a saya ga daw pwe (paying respects to the teachers) by the 1969 RIT graduates. We have pictures of the sayas and of course the RIT graduates.

From Benicia (California), Saya U Thein Aung (Met 72) wrote :

     I am so glad to read the message about our old teachers get together party in Burma.
     KC Chiu (ex-faculty, Chem), brother of Dr Aung Soe (Civil), had actively organized Dr Aung Gyi’s welcome party back in 1986  in Bay area and Saya U Aung Khin party last year. He is a founding member of
BEA (Burmese Engineers Association) and also a Past President. He is preparing a list to send it to you.

From Vallejo (California), Saya Dr. KC Chiu (Chem 63) wrote :

        Ko Hla Min: I am impressed by the list you have assembled. I would like to suggest the followings:
    – delete the name of the deceased alumni
    – delete the Type column and use an * to identify ex-faculty
    – list the official name and put the name used in RIT as alias
    – except for some sayas, confirm the year of graduation from RIT (include BOC college, BIT, etc.)

    Attached is a list of RIT alumni in the US that come to my mind. Naturally, it will have some repeat in your list.
    We used to have a old list of RIT alumni in the bay area, I will try to find it. Thanks.

From UK, U Nyunt Aung (Civil 73) wrote :

  Dear U Hla Min,
  Thank you for sending me the list. It will be more helpful if you can provide us with more detail (ie. full address,  telephone nos & email address) so we can contact to those we knew. I do not know about
the rest, but I am willing to include my details.
U Nyunt Aung & Daw Myat Sanda Bo (Civil ’73)

From Daly City (California), U Kaung Kaung Oo @ Gordon Kaung (Mech 83) wrote :

  I heard that you are compiling the e-mail info. of  former RIT colleagues. It is very good idea and a clever way to keep in-touch one another. We can also discuss via e-mail to do good for our former school RIT including donating technical books and so on.

From Potomac (Maryland), Daw Lei Lei Myaing (Tex 70) wrote :

Special thanks for the compiling all information. I had the opportunity to take Sayas U Khin Maung Win and U Maung Maung Than sightseeing in Washington, D.C. when they visited the U.S. a few years ago.
I also met Saya U Min Wun at a friend’s place in Virginia. Saya looked the same as before! I enjoyed seeing the former RIT list growing and getting to see the Sayas’ picture that Alice and Saya U Soe Paing sent. I am fortunate to see my former Textile and Chemical engineer friends whenever I visit Rangoon; the last gathering was at the Bon-Kyaung restaurant in Kokine. I also happened to bump into Alice at the Mingaladon airport!

Gone but not forgotten


Faculty
    U Sein Hlaing (Professor, Electrical)
    U Chin Way (Electrical)

Alumni
    Ko Kyaw Oo (Mech 67)
    Duga Raj (Civil 68)



Editor’s notes (2021) :

  • I spent five wonderful years at RIT.
  • 320+ students attended the first ever 2nd BE in 1964.
    Most of them graduated in 1969.
    About 95 are now GBNF.
  • Many of the EE sayas who taught us are also GBNF.
  • I’ve spent 21 years trying to keep the RIT spirit alive and well.
  • I am fortunate to be a Core Organizer for SPZP-2000 in the USA and a Coordinator for the subsequent SPZPs in Singapore and Yangon.
  • I had help from two Web Masters (despite their busy schedules) for several years :
    Ko Khin Maung Zaw (EC 76) for ex-rit.org
    and Ko Wunna Ko Ko (EC 98) for ritalumni_info
  • I survived the COVID-19 pandemic.
    I have completed both doses of the vaccine.
  • The smiles and the occasional “Thank you” notes from the sayas, sayamas, alumni and their family members keep me going the extra mile.









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