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SF Bay Area Group — Then and Now

It seemed not long ago …

The San Francisco Bay Area RIT Alumni met at the house of U Benny Tan (Tan Yu Beng, M70) a couple of times to discuss the formation of “RIT Alumni International” to support the Newsletter and web site, and to consider the holding of a Grand Reunion and SPZP.

  • Saya Allen Htay (C58, GBNF) was the leader of the group.
    He served as President of “RIT Alumni International”, which organized the First RIT Grand Reunion and Saya Pu Zaw Pwe in San Francisco, California, USA in October 2000.
    His article, “Brother, can you afford US $500?” was partly responsible for the generous donations by sayas and alumni.
  • Ko Gordon Kaung (Kaung Kaung Oo, M83) was the “Char Taik” of the group.
    He founded “Mechanical Solutions” in San Francisco.
    He and his spouse Lillian Kaung (EC83) later set up iNapa Winery and hosted several RIT-related gatherings.
  • Ko Khin Maung Zaw (KMZ, EC76), who took the group photo, designed and implemented http://www.ex-rit.org website.
  • Standing:
    Saya U Maung Maung (George, ChE66), U Hla Min (EC69), Saya U Thein Aung (James, Met72), Saya Dr. Nyo Win (K H Chen, M65), Saya U Myat Htoo (C68), U Benny Tan (Tan Yu Beng, M70)
  • Seated :
    U Kaung Kaung Oo (Gordon, M83), Saya Allen Htay (C58, GBNF), Saya Dr. Tin Aung (K C Chiu, ChE63), Maurice Chee (U Hla Myint Thein, M75)
  • They served as members of the Working Committee and Steering Committee for SPZP-2000.
  • Many contributed to “Count down to the Reunion” and “Post Reunion” pages.
    I wrote 64 posts for “Count down to the Reunion” and 36 posts for “Post Reunion”.
  • Saya U Maung Maung was the first President of NorCal RITAA.
    He organized a fund raiser for the “Staff Training” component of “YTU Library Modernization”.
  • U Hla Min completed 22+ years as volunteer Editor of “RIT Alumni International Newsletter”.
    Per suggestion of U Thaung Sein (Steeve Kay, EC70), he chose to re-tire (re-thread) rather than retire. Per suggestion of family members, sayas and friends, he decided to pay back to his alma mater(s): RIT and UCC.
    He wrote 40+ postings of “Memories of UCC” in three days during his “vacation” to Myanmar.
    He is Owner, Admin and Moderator of two web sites and several Facebook groups.
    He broadcast 200+ Educational Videos on selected topics.
  • Saya U Thein Aung won Mr. RIT in 1968.
    A few years back, he handed over the “Sa-Lwe” (for Mr. RIT68) to U Wynn Htain Oo (M72).
    He had hibernated for some time, but recently provided feedback about his mentor Commander Maung Maung, who won Mr. Burma in 1947.
  • Saya Dr. Nyo Win is a Past President of BAPS.
    He worked for several high-tech companies in the US and Taiwan.
    He served as BOD of NorCal RITAA.
  • Saya U Myat Htoo is a Past President of TBSA (Theravada Buddhist Society of America) and BADA (Burmese American Democratic Alliance)
    He is the Chair, BOD of NorCal RITAA.
    He plays the ukelele and piano.
    One of his favorites is a parody of Sai Htee Saing’s song, “Lost Neikban”.
  • U Benny succeeded Saya Dr. Nyo Win as President of BAPS.
    He is a successful entrepreneur.
    He is a multiple Golden Sponsor of SPZPs.
    He designed the banner and mementos for SPZP-2000.
    He is now having quality time with his six grand children and also taking trips and cruises around the world.​
  • Ko Gordon Kaung succeeded Saya U Maung Maung as President of NorCal RITAA.
    He and his spouse Daw Lillian Kaung (EE83) hosted several RIT gatherings at iNapa winery.
    They also donated Premium Wine bottles for several events (e.g. the Annul Dinner and Summer Picnic for NorCal RITAA, 2005 RIT Alumni Reunion in Los Angeles). Their winery survived the wild Napa fires. They found out the good news after their three week “stay” at a hotel.
  • Saya Allen Htay wrote the classic “Brother, can you spare US $500?”
    He “retired” three times.
    His former students coaxed him to un-retire twice.
    Saya did not recover from a debilitating stroke to spend time with his grand children.
    One grandson had “Allen” as his first name.
    Another had “Allen” as his middle name.
  • Saya KC Chiu is the brother of Saya Dr. Aung Soe (C61) and U Soe Thein (EE60).
    He is a Past President of BEA.
    After retirement, he relocated to Southern California.
    Saya KC wrote : In early ‘80, Dr. Tin Win was working in Houston and came to the Bay Area on business trip. Dr. Tin Win was visiting me at home while Lily and I were discussing BEA matter. I believed they were meant for each other. The rest is history.
  • Ko Maurice Chee succeeded U Benny Tan as President of BAPS.
    He wore multiple hats for SPZP-2000. He was the Co-Chair of the Working Committee (with U Benny Tan).
    He was the Financial Controller.
    He was the Publisher of the commemorative issue of “RIT Alumni International Newsletter”.
    He did the name tags.
    He also coordinated the culinary experts for the follow-up lunch gathering.
    He also served as Vice President of NorCal RITAA.
    In August 2016, he organized the Soon Kway gathering at Dhammananda Vihara, Half Moon Bay for my birthday and to “recognize” my volunteer work.
  • KMZ was then one of the finest eligible bachelors.
    He worked four 10-hour days.
    He designed and implemented the first RIT web site, which was largely responsible for the success of SPZP-2000.
    He “promised” to have Version 2.0 of the web (with better features).
    Luckily for him, he moved to the challenging and lucrative job at Microsoft, and also became blessed with a wonderful family.
Gathering for KMZ in Cupertino
(RIT & UCC Alumni and friends)
Ko Maurice, Ko Hla Min, KMZ and Ko Benny at a Seafood Restaurant

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