The following post contains excerpts from my long article (posted on April 15, 2020 and updated daily through April 30, 2020).
This post also contains some additional material.
Peter (Dr. Khin Tun) became the first born child of U Tin U and Dr. Khin Kyi Nyunt (Cherry Tin Gyi).
Like his grandfather and father, Peter became the Eldest Son in his family.
Like his grand parents who won Prizes for the Horticulture Show, Peter would also enjoy gardening.
Peter would later have a younger sister Aye Aye Khin and a younger brother Dr. Ye Myint.
Snapshot of Peter’s Life
- After finishing 10th standard examination, Peter entered a meditation retreat at Chan Myei monastery.
- Matriculated from St. Augustine’s High School with four distinctions.
Stood 23rd in the whole of Burma.
Received Collegiate Scholarship.
- Admitted to the Institute of Medicine (1).
- Received MBBS in 1981.
- Worked for Rangoon Children Hospital and Dr. Thane Oke Kyaw Myint (Pediatrician).
- Collected and analyzed data for UNICEF projects including Perinatal Survey with his colleagues (e.g. Dr. Pe Thet Khin)
- Found Win Mar, a beautiful school teacher, as his love life.
- Moved to Mezaligone and did private practice (often receiving little or no money from cash-strapped patients).
- Some friends suggested Peter to study for MRCP in the UK.
- Peter hosted nine friends for group study at his parent’s house.
- With Ye Myint’s sponsorship, Peter moved to UK in 1994.
(See Ye Myint’s speech for details).
- Worked for Royal Berkeley Hospital
- Promoted to Associate Specialist for Neuro and Rehabilitation
- Served as Associate Dean of Oxford University
In September 2017, he and Win Mar hosted us. Both cooked delicious meals every day. They showed us around. They drove us to Wales to see my high school friend Maung Maung Kyi.
U Tin U (Peter’s father) celebrated his 90th Birthday.
Details of Peter’s life is recorded in the Photo Album for his father’s 90th Birthday Celebrations. The URL is provided by his uncle U Tin Htoon
Dr. Daw Khin Nyunt (Peter’s mother) passed away a few months before her 89th Birthday.
Peter and family went to New Zealand to celebrate Min Ko’s birthday and wedding.
Ye Myint and family stopped over in Sydney, Australia to have gatherings with the relatives.
Peter skipped the visit to Australia, because he wanted to be back at the hospital and enable his junior staff members to take leave.
On March 25, 2020, he said there were COVID-19 cases in London and Birmingham but not much in Reading. He showered twice daily as a precaution.
He said he was elated with his trip to NZ in February 2020. He enjoyed entertaining his aunt (Dr. Ruby) and his uncle (U Tin Htoon). He mentioned that his father (U Tin U) might finally have a Great Grandchild.
Peter got infected with COVID-19 from one of his patients.
Five of his patients tested positive.
He was hospitalized.
His health deteriorated.
He passed away on April 13, 2020 (Easter Monday).
His Last Journey took place on April 30, 2020.
U Tin U and Siblings
- U Tin U
- U Ba Than
- Dr. Daw Win Hlaing (Ruby)
- Daw Myint Thwe (Betty)
- Dr. Myo Tint
- U Tin Htoon
- U Myo Min
- U Thaung Lwin
- Daw Cho Cho Hlaing
U Tin U is the eldest of nine siblings. He matriculated from St. John’s Diocesan in 1946 and attended Rangoon University. He joined Rangoon University Boat Club (RUBC) and became Captain and Gold in 1948.
He studied BSCE at Oregon State University and MSCE at Yale University. Upon his return he worked for Clark and Grieg (eventually becoming a Director) and also taught part-time at the Civil Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Rangoon University. He later worked as Consultant for InterKiln and “Bogyi Kyu Kyaw’s Group of Architects and Engineers.” He served as Secretary of Burma Civil Engineers Society, and as Captain of Rangoon Golf Club (RGc). He stayed active by playing golf, doing gardening and have a daily dose of whiskey as medicine.
He celebrated his 90th birthday in August 2019. U Tin Htoon compiled U Tin U’s accomplishments and photos into a book as a birthday present. The book also contains photos and information about U Tin U’s children.
U Tin U also gave interviews
- about his days as Captain of the Rangoon Golf Club
- to Saya U Soe Paing for the HMEE (History of Myanmar Engineering Education) project
- to Min Ko (Peter’s elder son) about his early days in Burma and in the US.
Dr. Daw Khin Kyi Nyunt (Cherry Tin Gyi) and Siblings
- U Sway Tin
- U Myo Kyaw (?)
Min Ko also interviewed his grandmother, who recounted her early school days in India and the sad loss of her father U Tin Gyi. After the war, she returned to Burma and continued schooling until she graduated from the Medical School.
She worked as Demonstrator at the School, and later joined the Nutrition Research Division of BMRI. She did her postgraduate Diploma in the UK.
Peter inherited the joy of cooking and entertaining relatives and friends with gourmet food. Peter compiled the recipes of my father and several aunts.
She and Peter had birthdays in January. They would jointly offer dana / requisites usually at Chan Myei Monastery (where Peter learned meditation after he finished his 10th standard examination).
She passed away late last year (2019) a few months before she turned 89.
Peter would join her a few months later at the tender age of 62.
Peter and Siblings
Spouse : Win Mar
Sons : Min Ko (Michael Tun) and Ye Lay (Will Tun)
- Aye Aye Khin
Spouse : Tin Tun
Daughters : Thin Thiri Tun (Honey) and Khin Sandy Tun
- Ye Myint
Spouse : San San Aye
Daughter : Aye Sanda (Jess Myint)
During our visit to UK, Win Mar recounted the story of how she and Peter met, their life in Mezaligone, the brief period when Peter moved to study in the UK, and the days when the family reunited in UK.
Win Mar hails from Mezaligone. She knows Htein Linn (Artist, Prisoner of Conscience) and family. She hosted Htein Linn’s sister Hla Hla Htay at her house in Reading.
The photo is from Vicky Bowman’s public post.
by Vicky Bowman, former UK Ambassador to Myanmar
Another foreign born NHS worker died of CoViD yesterday, in Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, where he worked as a rehab specialist, adding to the toll.
But more importantly, Dr Peter Khin Tun was once the much loved doctor of the cooperative medical clinic in Mezaligon, Htein Lin’s village. He was particularly known for deworming any patient who crossed the threshold of the clinic for whatever reason.
Worms in Myanmar are ‘than’, သန်. Peter became known locally in Mezaligon as the than-amat သန်အမတ် (amat means high official, and than-amat is an Ambassador).
He married local school teacher-cum-nurse Ma Win Mar. We feel so sad for her and their two sons.
In the post I have shared you can see him and Win Mar showing my sister in law Hla Hla Htay, around Windsor. She was doubtless de-wormed at some point by him, before she followed in Win Mar’s footsteps and became a teacher in the village.
Win Mar got infected by COVID-19. She was hospitalized. She recovered and was discharged on April 29, 2020. She attended Peter’s Last Journey on April 30, 2020.
We managed to phone Win Mar before she was hospitalized. She and Peter hosted us during our visit to the UK a few years back. They cooked sumptuous meals daily. Peter drove us to Ogmore-by-the-sea in Wales to see my high school friend Maung Maung Kyi (who also was a Best Man at my wedding).
The photo is taken during a stop in the trip to Wales.
Min Ko (Michael Tun)
Contributions by Min Ko
- Interview of U Tin U
- Interview of Dr. Khin Kyi Nyunt
- Phone conversation with Peter (about the days at Mezaligone)
- Several posts about Peter
- Providing Peter’s emails to the Media
- Interviews with BBC and Newspapers
- Caused Royal Berkshire Hospital to launch a formal inquiry about Peter’s demise
- Handled legal and financial matters related to Peter
- Video conferences for Peter’s final day and the Last Journey
- Emotional farewell to Peter
- Pru posted a message for Peter
Memories of Min Ko
Min Ko shared Dr. Peter’s wonderful, precious life in Meizaligone, a village in Henzada District, Irrawaddy Division.
Since the clinic was at the house, the family members were woken up early by villagers lining up to get water from the tube well.
Peter’s clinic opened from 6AM to late at night seven days a week.
Peter treated sick villagers with CETANA, some free of charge, and some were given cash assistance to go to Hospital in Big Towns.
Once a month Peter invited neighbors to have meals in the house.
Peter had an old car and learned how to do repairs.
Min Ko then read a letter written to his father and had to pause occasionally to wipe the tears. He promised to take care of the family.
Michael Tun’s sad thoughts (following Peter’s demise)
My dad Dr Peter Tun died from COVID19 because of the lack of PPE.
My hope in writing this is that it will save more doctors and nurses lives and avoid pain for their families. My dad would have wanted to speak up if he thought it would save lives.
I spoke to my dad the day that he found out there was someone who was positive for COVID19 in his ward. My dad told me that he had earlier complained to a manager because they took PPE away from his ward to take somewhere else. He was told that if there was a case, they would bring it back. He had replied that it would be TOO LATE. The last he told me, there were 4 more positive patients with no symptoms. 2 weeks later, my dad passed away and I couldn’t do anything.
Please do everything to protect the doctors and nurses. They go in scared for themselves and their families. They did not get into the profession to die a hero in battle. This is why he was a superhero to us. He was scared and still went in to help strangers completely knowing the risk. The pain for the families is unbearable. He was afraid that he would give this to my mum and now she is in hospital also waiting for her test results. The thought that if only he had had a proper protective mask, he might still have been able to enjoy his hard earned retirement after a lifetime of service just kills me.
I hope this won’t cause distress or take attention away from the need to help people but we need to also protect the people trying to protect us. We couldn’t protect my dad so I want to help protect everyone else who is in the same position that he was. Thank you for everything to all the heroes. ❤️
Prudence (Min Ko’s spouse)
Memories by Prudence
Goodbye Dr Peter Tun
It was an honour to know you.
There will never be the right words but thank you for your kindness, good humour and your selfless acts of service. I will remember your great story telling, you telling me the recipes of your favourite dishes, planting flowers in your garden together In Reading and how beloved and respected you were by so many different people. Your spirit is already in both of your sons and it will continue to live on through them.
Here we are 8.5 weeks ago in NZ during our Buddhist wedding ceremony where you stood by our side and celebrated with us and now we will celebrate you and will ensure that your legacy lives on 🖤
Min Ko and Prudence held their engagement party at Winner Inn in Yangon. Peter invited us to the party.
Their wedding was held in New Zealand.
Ye Lay (Will Tun)
Memories by Ye Lay (Live)
“Pe Pe Ko Chit Tae“. [ I love Dad]
Ye Lay thanked his father Peter for the wonderful things that he had learned. In particular, the chanting “I take refuge in the Triple Gems”. He recited to Peter at the hospital.
He sang an old Scottish ballad “Loch Lomond“. He remembered Peter taking Chan Myei Sayadaw to Loch Lomond.
By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes
Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond
Where we two have passed so many blithesome days
On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond
O ye’ll take the high road and I’ll take the low road
And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye
But me and my true love will never meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond
I mind where we parted on yon shady glen
On the steep, steep side o’ Ben Lomond
Where in purple hue, the Heiland hills we view
And the moon shinin’ out from the gloamin’
Ye Lay studied at St Andrew’s in Scotland for his second Masters. His parents attended his graduation.
He ended by reciting
“Buddham saranam gaccha mi. [I take refuge in the Buddha].
Dhammam saranan gaccha mi. [I take refuge in the Dhamma].
Sangham saranam gaccha mi. [I take refuge in the Sangha].
Contributions by Ye Lay
- Posts and Farewell speech
- Sang songs / ballads to Dr. Khin Kyi Nyunt
- Sang “Loch Lomond” at Peter’s Last Journey
- Was my guide to Oxford University
Dana by Aye Aye Khin (sister) and Dr. Ye Myint (brother)
On behalf of Peter’s family, Aye Aye Khin (sister) offered requisites to Sayadaw U Thawbita (Chan Myei) in Yangon.
Offerings were also made by U Ba Than (uncle) and Daw Mya Mya (GBNF), Ye Than (cousin) and family, U Myo Myint and Daw Tin Tin Win, Dr. Khin Win Myint, Aung Thu and Khin Myat Naing, Myo Tin and Dr. Khine Zin Oo.
Aye Aye Khin (Peter’s sister) wrote :
Listen to sayardaw u thaw bi ta’s Tayar.
You can hear $ donation of
Tina / Dr. Win Marla (Aunty Olga’s daughter);
Kyi Kyi Han (Aunty Icy’s daughter)
& Maung Maung Tin (Aunty Olga’s son).
and also Thingan and Nawkama
by Cho Cho Hlaing (aunt)
Aye Aye Khin (sister), Ko Tin Tun and daughters
5 Thingun donate from (Ko Tin Tun’s cousin) Susi Sein; Ohnmar Sein & Sayarlay Nwe Ni Sein
Contributions by Aye Aye Khin and family
- Took care of U Tin U and Dr. Daw Khin Kyi Nyunt
- Organized dana for Peter
Donations by relatives
- Thin Thiri posted a video of Peter’s Last Journey
Memories by Dr. Ye Myint
(Recording played at Peter’s Last Journey)
Firstly I would like to thank you all for being here.
Thanks to all those who shared their good memories of my beloved brother. The family appreciates your kind thoughts and prayers.
It is a great honour to be able to share my memories, and talk about my big brother Peter, who will forever remain in our hearts.
My kindhearted brother spent his life caring not only for patients, but relatives, friends and acquaintances. He gave up his life in the line of duty. He will be missed by all.
Peter, my sister and I were very privileged to grow up together in one large family estate. We were very close sharing the same room and being together daily.
He set a high bar for us intellectually and socially. Due to his high intellect, he got double promotion twice and skipped 2 years.
He matriculated with four distinctions. He stood 23rd in the whole of Burma and was awarded a University Scholarship. He was admitted to the Rangoon University of Medicine, which I also attended. He supported me to become a good compassionate doctor like himself.
He stayed fit by taking part in many sports : football, badminton, cycling and rowing. He was the university selected athlete for Shot put and Discus throwing.
He started cooking as a teenager and learnt many recipes from our mother and continued this lifelong hobby. He was a very good artist and created large paintings as well as water coloured Christmas cards. He was also a very keen gardener and read various books. He had great general knowledge and many called him a walking encyclopaedia.
After he qualified as a doctor, he worked as a UNICEF research officer for mother and child health in Hlegu where he met his future wife Ma Win Mar. After they fell in love he decided to move to Mezligone. I accompanied him on this trip there and helped to set up a new medical clinic. He worked there daily for 11 years where he was relied upon by his patients even out of hours.
I sponsored him to move to UK in 1994 to help progress his medical career. He lived with us until he got his first job in Burton-on-Trent. He got his second job in Pontefract and arranged for his family to relocate to the UK to join him. We were lucky to live only 20 minutes drive away so had nice weekly reunions which made our families even closer.
He then moved to London for rehabilitation medicine training after he passed his MRCP examinations and then moved to Reading 21 years ago working as an associate specialist. Peter has helped many Doctors coming to the UK for further studies where he gave valuable advice and treated them to his home cooking. He always enjoyed entertaining and cooking for family and friends.
We had regular family reunions and memorable family holidays together in Devon, Italy, Burma and most recently in New Zealand. We will cherish these lovely memories together. He had such a great sense of humour and always made those around him happy with his personality and big smiles. He was remarkable in many different ways. He lived an enjoyable successful life and treated all family members, relatives and friends with loving kindness. He touched so many people as evident by the countless tributes, messages, cards and donations.
I am sure you are in a much better place, Ko Ko, after doing so many good deeds throughout your life. We will miss you greatly and always remember you with love. Thank you so much for being a loving big brother, a great Uncle to Aye Sanda, a best friend, mentor and teacher.
Donations for Peter
We donated £100 to SHEFFIELD Monastery and £50 to Manchester Monastery (fund will be sent to Myanmar to fight against COVID).
Contributions by Ye Myint and family
- Liaison with ICU Doctors (during Peter’s hospitalization)
- Liasion with Medical Staff (during Win Mar’s hospitalization)
- Interview with BBC (Burmese Program)
- Interview with BBC (English Program)
- Message for Peter’s Funeral
- Per suggestion from San San Aye, appealed to relatives to help alleviate the financial burden of Peter’s family members
- Jess wrote two posts : one during Peter’s hospitalization and another after Peter’s demise
He FB page also has reference to “Remembering Peter Tun” by the Royal Berkshire Hospital (which had 80+ entries)
Peter served as Associate Dean of Oxford University. He was also a supporter of Oxford Sayadaw.
From Oxford Sayadaw U Dhammasami
Dakagyi Dr Peter Khin Tun,
From now on, it will not be my priority to remember that you lived 62 years, but rather how many thousands of life you have touched and nurtured. People are remembered for what they did for others, not how long they live. Ultimately, it is your exemplary selfless service to the many that will be inscribed in many hearts. Since we came to know each other in London in 1996, you have watched proudly your two boys grow up and achieve some standing of their own. As you always wished, I will take care of them spiritually so they can serve many souls as you have. Have a good rebirth.
Memories and Tributes
Jess Myint’s post after Peter’s health deteriorated
My Uncle Peter has been on a ventilator for four days after testing positive for COVID-19 2 weeks ago. He seemed to be coping well in the first week and he kept sending me pictures as reassurance. But things rapidly progressed and he was unreachable not replying back or answering calls which was very unlike him for 2 days. He was admitted to ICU and was initially stable on the ventilator but his condition has unfortunately deteriorated last night. There are many pleas but it is scary what this virus has done to people and families worldwide so please everyone take things seriously and do whatever you can to help minimize the spread of this virus any further.
Think of the doctors, nurses and NHS workers, like my Uncle that have put their lives at risk to help others and do their duty of care, even when they have not had the appropriate PPE.
Healthcare workers and anyone showing any symptoms, even mild symptoms, please isolate and do not put others at risk as they may not recover from this.
Feel so sorry and helpless for my Uncle, Aunty and cousins, who are constantly in our thoughts. I’m hoping with everyone’s prayers, Uncle’s kindness, good deeds, and Uncle’s fighting spirit he will pull through.
Please come back to us Uncle Peter.