There have been Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees and a few Centennial Celebrations.
- Rangoon Institute of Technology
The Faculty of Engineering was briefly known as Burma Institute of Technology (BIT) after moving to the Gyogone Campus.
Under the then new Education System, BIT was renamed as RIT.
RIT became an autonomous institute with its own Rector.
- My Facebook Pages and Websites
Based on my circles, I have three types of Facebook pages.
I have two web sites : hlamin.com and lifelonglearning140.wordpress.com
- SPZP and Alumni Activities
Saya Pu Zaw Pwe is a noble tradition.
I am honored to be a core organizer of the First RIT Grand Reunion and SPZP in San Francisco, California, USA in October 2000.
I have supported the subsequent SPZPs and several RIT-related projects and activities.
- No Last Journey for us
I am honored to have been a Master of Ceremonies for the Last Journeys of Dr. Htay Lwin Nyo and Sayadaw U Silanandabhivamsa.
I was also requested to give eulogies.
As body donors, there will be no last journey.
Rangoon University (RU)
- Rangoon University was established in December 1920.
- There were two constituent colleges : Rangoon College and Judson College.
- Saya U Pe Maung Tin served as the first Burmese Principal of Rangoon College.
- Saya Dr. Htin Aung served as the first Burmese Rector of Rangoon University.
RU Golden Jubilee
- The RU Golden Jubilee was celebrated in 1970.
- Saya Dr. Aung Gyi and Saya U Thet Lwin are among the core organizers of the RU GJ Celebrations.
- I had a minor role as a volunteer for the “Zay Committee”.
- RIT Ah Nu Pyinnyashins took part in the Entertainment Program. The “Htee Yein” and “Swel Daw Yeik Ah Nyeint” were attractions. The term “Swel Daw Yiek” became synonymous with RIT and the engineering schools which preceded RIT.
- The Commemorative Magazine reprinted Bogyoke Aung San’s translation of “Invictus”.
- The Magazine also had an account of U Hla Maung, who graduated with B.Sc. (Engg) degree in 1928.
- The Centennial will be celebrated in 2020.
- Saya U Moe Aung (Tekkatho Moe War) and fellow authors (e.g. Shwe Ku May Hnin) have published “Collections of Poems and Articles” to commemorate RU Centennial.
Engineering Education in Burma
- Engineering Education in Burma started in 1924.
- The Centennial will be celebrated in 2024.
- The History of Myanmar Engineering Education Project compiled and published HMEE-2012 in time for SPZP-2012. Saya U Aung Hla Tun was the Team Leader. U Ohn Khine (M70) and I compiled the CD Supplement for the book.
- HMEE-2018 is a follow up Project. In addition to revising the HMEE-2012 book, the Project will cover new material (e.g. History of the Engineering Departments).
- The 90th Anniversary was celebrated in 2014. The Centennial will be celebrated in 2014.
Rangoon Institute of Technology
- The New Education System which made RIT an autonomous Institute with was established in November 1964.
- The Golden Jubilee was celebrated in 2014.
- Saya U Yone Moe served as the first Rector of RIT. He was succeeded by Saya Dr. Aung Gyi.
- In 1964, there were eight Engineering Departments : (1) Architecture (2) Chemical (3) Civil (4) Electrical (5) Mechanical (6) Metallurgy (7) Mining (8) Textile.
- Supporting Departments were established at RIT. They include (1) Burmese (2) Chemistry (3) English (4) Geology (5) Physics.
- For some time, there were Visiting Lecturers from USSR and selected Departments of other Universities and Institutes.
- RIT was renamed as YIT (Yangon Institute of Technology).
- YIT in turn became YTU (Yangon Technological University).
- The sayas and alumni are known for the “RIT Spirit” (which survived the brutal crushing in the Adhamma Era).
- RIT was considered a Dying Breed. The school was branded as “Thabone Kyaung”. The Swel Daw Bins were banished from the Gyongone Campus. Several equipment were taken away to set up a Military Engineering branch at DSA.
- The alumni wanted to pay back the metta and cetana of their mentors.
- The First RIT Grand Reunion and Saya Pu Zaw Pwe was held in California, USA in October 2000. I wrote the “SAYA PU ZAW PWE” poem. It has been reprinted in several RIT-related publications.
- The subsequent World Wide SPZPs were held in Singapore (in December 2002, April 2007 and December) and in Yangon (in December 2004, December 2012 and December 2016).
- Swel Daw Yeik Foundation was established in 2013.
- The Shwe YaDu Celebrations were held in 2014.
- RITAA is helping YTU in several ways. It is helping to raise the fund for YTU Library Modernization Projects (which is a requirement to get YTU accredited at the Regional level and beyond).
Stories to illustrate the RIT Spirit
- I am an amateur historian and a folklorist.
- I have a dream to compile stories to illustrate the friendly and indomitable RIT Spirit.
- As a basis, I will use the articles that were contributed to the RIT Alumni Newsletter and Updates.
- Sayas and alumni could provide new and old stories (e.g. published in the various Magazines, Sar Saungs, Thadin Zin, Wall Posters, Cartoon Box, Exhibitions).
- While we have reasonably good health and memory, we plan to pay back to our alma mater.
My Facebook Pages and Web sites
I have three kinds of Facebook Pages.
- The first is for my acquaintances.
- The second is for my family members, relatives and close friends.
- The third is for knowledge sharing (e.g. Life Long Learning) and/or archiving my posts (e.g. RIT Alumni International Newsletter updates).
Not all postings are of equal importance. They can be grouped as follows:
- Current news
- SPZP-2012 : Count down and Event
- Shwe YaDu Golden Jubilee Celebrations
- Swel Daw Yeik Foundation (SDYF)
- Alumni Associations in Myanmar and Northern California
- History of University Engineering Education in Burma/Myanmar
- Memoirs by U Ohn Khine (M 70) and U Zaw Min Nawaday (EP 70)
- Golden Jubilee (GJ) Magazine published by the Class of 70 & 71
- Reunions of the Class of 69
- Class Photos
- Brief History of the RIT Departments by Sayagyis
- Excerpts from the archives of SPZP-2000
- Successors of RIT (e.g. YIT, YTU)
- Where are they now?
- GBNF : Sayas and alums
Hope the postings will be of interest to historians — professional or amateurs.
I have two web sites.
- http://lifelonglearning140.wordpress.com is a free web site.
I have archived most of my posts in the web site.
- http://hlamin.com is a paid web site.
I have revised many of my posts.
Some posts have been merged and enhanced.
SPZP and Alumni Activities
Paying respect to Sayas for their metta and cetana is a tradition that is unique to Burma/Myanmar.
The tradition is alive and well.
There have been SEVEN world wide SPZPs :
- SPZP-2000 (US)
- SPZP-2002, SPZP-2007, SPZP-2010 (Singapore)
- SPZP-2004, SPZP-2012, SPZP-2016 (Yangon)
- SPZP-2020 (scheduled for December 26, 2020 in Yangon) was postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic
Many alumni are active in the following:
- SDYF (Swel Daw Yeik Foundation)
- RITAA (RIT-YIT-YTU Alumni Association)
- MES (Myanmar Engineering Society)
- MEC (Myanmar Engineering Council)
- “History of University Engineering Education in Burma/Myanmar” (HMEE-2012) was published in time for SPZP-2012.
- The project’s initiators included Saya U Soe Paing, Sayagyi U Ba Than and several sayas and alumni (See Acknowledgement in the Book).
- Saya U Aung Hla Tun and team (including Yours Truly) compiled the book.
- The draft for the first two sections were prepared by Saya U Soe Paing and team.
- Ko Ohn Khine (M70) translated Section 1 and summarized Section 2.
- Ko Ohn Khine’s translations have been revised by Saya U Soe Paing.
Saya U Aung Hla Tun suggested that the Book should be revised/updated (e.g. every five years or so).
HMEE-2018 (follow up project to HMEE-2012 is headed by Saya U Aung Hla Tun. Some new members joined the HMEE-2018 project.
YTU Library Modernization Project
- Donations — large and small — are coming in.
- An alumnus had made monthly donation of One Lakh kyats for 27+ months,
- U Khin Maung Tun (T78), Daw Myint Myint (C69), Saya Dr. Myo Khin (C70) and Daw Mya Nwe (Winsome, C73), Saya U Tin Htut (M60) … donated K100 Lakhs each (or more) for the Project.
- Thanks to Ma Nan Khin Nwe (83 Intake) and tfund raising team.
The team had incrementally published the list of donors.
The project was established as a requirement for the Accreditation of YTU.
- There were several HCF (Health Care Funds).
- The balance of “Steeve and Helen Kay Health Care Fund for RIT sayas and sayamas” have been handed over to Swel Daw Yeik Foundation.
- The balance of “U Khin Maung Tun’s family for providing Vision Care to eligible sayas and sayamas” have been handed over to Swel Daw Yeik Foundation.
- SDYF provides limited financial assistance to eligible RIT sayas and sayamas for health care (e.g. hospitalization, frequent visits to clinics).
- SDYF also provides Annual Medical and Vision Checkup for eligible sayas and sayamas.
RIT related Facebook pages and web sites
- RIT Updates
- Swel Daw Yeik Foundation
- RIT-YIT-YTU Alumni Association
- Google Group for Combined 1st BE Intake of 64 and 65
- Google Group for RIT Updates
No Last Journey for us
- I had the opportunity to serve as Master of Ceremonies at two last journeys.
- The first was for Dr. Htay Lwin Nyo (EP 74), part time Professor at San Jose State University. Ko Khin Maung Zaw (EC76) set up the commemorative web pages on http://www.ex-rit.org. I have excerpted some in my Trivia posts.
- The second was for Sayadaw U Silanandbhivamsa, Rector of the International Theravada Buddhist University.
- I volunteered as Book Committee member and Contributing Editor for “Paying Homage to Saya U Silanananda.
- There is a 2-set DVD of Saydaw’s last journey and can be found as a supplement for the Commemorative book.
- There will be no funeral services, viewing and eulogies for us. We have registered as organ donors.
Simple Joys of Living and Paying Back
- We are deeply honored to the sponsors, donors,volunteers, and well-wishers for the soon kyway on August 20, 2016 at Half Moon Bay monastery.
- Special thanks to sayas and alumni near and far who took special time to express their appreciation to the messenger turned amateur historian.
- We are simply following the practice of our beloved philanthropic ancestors who donated for the construction and maintenance of hospitals, schools, pagodas, zayats, free dispensaries.
- I have donated thousands of hours trying to get the sayas and alumni get connected electronically and physically, and also share my experience as a Life Long Learner.
- Ko Thaung Sein (Steeve Kay, EC70, Multiple Golden Sponsor of SPZPs) said, “Do not retire. Re-tire.”
He also mentioned that if we can serve the sayas and alums for two decades, we should be satisfied since RIT is a dying breed.
I have completed 21+ years as a founder and editor of RIT Alumni International Newsletter.
Categories: Hla Min