P - T

DM : New Zealand (2012)

by Dennis Mackey (Kyaw Thu, C73)

In the early 70s, New Zealand had an intensive technical training program with the Burmese government, namely the NZ Polytechnic sector and our GTI. One direct, international flight to Myitkyina with staff, teaching equipment and machinery was even made accessible to the NZ government. There is no such program that we know of at University level. However, there have been several at professional level with visits by Myanmar engineers and geologists in the Energy (Oil and Gas, Electricity) sector.

Graduate engineers from Myanmar also arrived in New Zealand in the early-to-mid 1970s. Almost all have settled in the North Island, particularly in Auckland, the City of Sails, which is also known as the gateway to NZ, where it is easier to secure jobs and the weather is relatively warmer. Currently, there are 27 alumni; 4 are architects and the rest, engineers. The most senior member graduated in 1967 and the youngest in 2003. Six are female and notably, two of them (both single) who used to live in Auckland are now working in Australia; one is in Perth, Western Australia working in the mining sector. Just as we are particularly proud of these two remarkably enterprising female alumni, we also take pride in our younger members who are pursuing post-graduate studies in their related fields in NZ.

In terms of Myanmar community functions, we are abreast with our counterparts in Australia, North America (USA) and SE Asia (Singapore). It is our engineering alumni who have, for the past 20 years, spearheaded the annual Thingyan celebrations in Auckland, and more recently, championed other socio-cultural events at our Buddhist monasteries. Although we do not have a formal engineering association per se, we have organized and enjoyed several summer get-together picnics in Auckland. On more than one occasion, our members have attended Myanmar Engineers’ gatherings in Sydney, Australia. In February this year, we successfully organized and celebrated our first “Get Together Auckland 2012” for Myanmar Engineers and Professionals. Of the 44 who attended, 4 were from Australia and 2 from Singapore. We envisage and sincerely hope that more RIT alumni will be able to join us in our future get-together.

Editor’s Notes

  • After retirement, Dennis moved to Canada.

Categories: P - T

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