The term “Saya Pu Zaw Pwe” was chosen over “Saya Ga Daw Pwe” to cater for alumni professing different faiths.
Excerpts from the Newsletter
I composed a poem “SAYA PU ZAW PWE” where the lines started with a letter of the title. It was posted on the ex-rit web site and printed in the commemorative newsletter for SPZP-2000. Saya U Moe Aung (Tekkatho Moe War) and team reprinted my poem on the back cover of the commemorative Swel Daw Yeik Sar Saung for SPZP-2002.
The First RIT Grand Reunion and Saya Pu Zaw Pwe was organized by RIT Alumni International in October 2000. It was a three-day event (with a formal dinner and two informal / optional get-together).
In April/May 1999, I e-mailed the RIT Alumni newsletter to interested sayas and alumni. Per request of Saya U Soe Paing (my mentor at RIT and UCC), Ko Khin Maung Zaw (EC76, KMZ) designed and implemented ex-rit.org web site. I served as Editor & Content Provider. My newsletters were also posted and archived in the web site. There were news, photos, articles … The San Francisco Bay Area Alumni Group (led by Saya Allen Htay) and several others (notably Ko Ivan Lee, M69, New Jersey; Ko Daniel Tint Lwin & Ko Aung Myint, both M69, Singapore) donated towards the “hard” expenses of the web site. The RIT Alumni International was formed. At a meeting at Ko Benny Tan’s house, Sayagyi U Aung Khin (who was visiting from Canada) approved the proposal for SPZP-2000. Details can be found in my posts.
For SPZP-2000, I wrote 64 “Countdown to the Reunion” posts and 36 “Post Reunion” posts. We also published a commemorative issue of the newsletter. I was the Chief Editor. Ko Henry Lim (Aung Myint, BAPS) and Saya U Thein Aung (Met72) volunteered as Associate Editors.
Ko Maurice Chee (M75) wore multiple hats : co-chair of Working Committee, Financial Controller), Logistics coordinator and Publisher.
Ko Benny Tan (M70) was co-chair of the Working Committee, one of the five Golden Sponsors (along with Steeve Kay EC70, David Ko M67, Ivan Lee M69 and Maung Maung Than M79) designer of the Banner and memorabilia …
U Ba Toke and U Num Kok were the sayas of our sayas. Both are now GBNF. Saya Dr. Aung Gyi gave a key note speech. Saya U Aung Khin, Saya U Khin Aung Kyi, Saya U Myo Myint Sein, Saya U Ba Toke and Saya U Min Wun were requested to give “short” speeches. There was an impromptu / optional “Saya Ga Daw Pwe”. Most do not care about the dinner. Some forgot to lower their voices during the speeches and had to be reminded gently by the emcees. A few appeared to walk down memory lane.
I am honored to be a catalyst in reviving the noble RIT spirit. The smiles of our sayas, the occasional “Thank you” notes and the “Appreciation Awards” are priceless.
I am confident that the RIT / Swel Daw Sprit will transcend our lives.