UCC Memories

CO Hla Min

Update : January 17, 2020

He earned the nickname Pauk Si at SPHS (St. Paul’s High School). His father had lent money to a Pauk Si vendor, but the vendor could not pay back the loan. So, at break time, he would go to claim one Pauk Si (or more depending on his appetite).

Since there were two Hla Min, he was called CO (Chief Operator).

He is an Alumni of SPHS, RIT and UCC.

He matriculated in 1964 along with Ko Aung Myint and Ko Maung Maung Gyi (GBNF).

He received his B.E. (EP) in 1970.

He volunteered for the UCC Project, and later joined UCC as CO.

Under the UCC program, he studied for a year in UK and also found his soul mate (Ma Tin Win), who was undergoing “advanced” nursing training.

CO was afraid of getting hospitalized.

CO was healthy. He would rarely wear the “coat/jacket” that is mandated for those working in the “air conditioned” Computer Room. He would often wear a sports shirt.

So, it was a surprise to learn that CO, after returning from spending as a temporary monk at Taung Pu Lu monastery, fell ill. He was admitted to RGH (Rangoon General Hospital) where Dr. Min Lwin (Maurice Hla Kyi, 5th in Burma in 1964, Roll Number Two at IM(2), cousin of “Lake” Win Maung) examined and found out that his friend had a serious problem.

CO’s voice had lost intensity during his stay in the hospital. He told us to be good towards the sayas, colleagues, friends and family members. We sensed that it was his farewell message. Sad to say, he passed away in his mid-thirties. He did not drink or smoke, but he ate (may be a little bit indiscriminately). He presumably had Hepatitis and later “cirrhosis”.

Some people were not aware that there were two Hla Min who attended SPHS & RIT & worked at UCC. They both have spouses from the medical profession.

So it was not surprising when two government departments where I had given guest lectures inquired UCC where and when they could send wreaths (Lwan Thu Pann Khwe) for me.

A representative from the first department said, “It is said that people laugh a lot before they die. U Hla Min was telling us jokes.”

A person from the second department said, “U Hla Min looked frail and unsteady when he walks. No wonder he passed away.”

To top it all, Ko Moe Hein (Ajala, ChE69) stared at me like a ghost at the Kyandaw Cemetery. He was RIT Selected for Swimming and Water Polo. He had a loud voice that can drown the voices of ten or so “normal” people. So he became the de facto “Cheer Leader” for the RIT Sports Teams. He was working at HI (Heavy Industries). At Kyan Daw Cemetery, he came down from a bus. When he saw me, he appeared “staring at a ghost”. He explained, “Your brother seemed so calm when we learned that you had passed away. So I look a day off to give you last respects thinking that ‘If your brother does not care about you, there will not be many people at last journey'”.

That’s how I became a TONE KYAW.

CO was partly responsible for the UCC staff members visiting Kaba Aye Sun Lun Gu Kyaung and then later participating in the Thingyan Su Paung Yahan Khan Pwes.

He and Saya U Soe Paing were temporary monks at the monastery where U Wara (Win Paing, ChE70, younger brother of Saya Paing, GBNF) was Taik Oak Sayadaw.

Ko Soe Myint (M72, GBNF) and his family (parents, asiblings, …) are devotees.

I visited CO and Saya Paing and later became a devotee.

CO, we miss you.

We remember you saying, “Sayas and colleagues will realize my values when I am gone.”

RIP, my dear friend and name sake.

With metta,

Hla Min


My best recollection of CO is as follows.

After we started working there, we hanged around the beautiful & attractive ladies in the machine room, like bee to the honey. CO didn’t like us there and issued a verbal warning not to talk to the ladies there, he’s the king/chief of the machine room, unless it’s work related.

He got really mad when we removed the covers of some of the machines there, pretending we were working on fixing those, while having good chitchat with the ladies there.

Some of them are now GBNF, several are still kicking, I mean alive and well. Those were the days, we really miss those old days.

Heartfelt love and thanks to those who had nothing but forgiveness to many of our shenanigans there.

And of course, we all miss our CO.

In order of raw marks :

Cherry Hlaing (St. John’s Convent) and Lyn Aung Thet (Methodist English High School)
Has same total marks.
Using the ILA system, Cherry was admitted as Roll Number One to IM(1).

Aung Win Chiong (SPHS)
Based on ILA, he was admitted as Roll Number One to IM(2).

Indian lady
Probably moved overseas

Min Lwin (SPHS)
Based o ILA, he was admitted as Roll Number Two to IM(2).

  • Was a Golf Champion.
  • Became a monk after taking the final examination for Chemical Engineering in 1970.
  • Served as Taik Oke Sayadaw for nearly four decades.
  • Succeeded Sayadaw U Vinaya as Chief Resident Monk of Kaba Aye Sunlun Gu Kyaung
    and Patron of several Sunlun Kyaung (Maymyo, Mogok, Kyauk Padaung).
  • Passed away a few years back

Categories: UCC Memories

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