Selected Posts *

  • Second SEAP Games
  • Some Champions
  • Aung San Stadium
  • Football / Soccer
  • Swimming and Diving
  • Tennis
  • Rowing / RUBC
  • Olympics
  • Mingun
  • Rangoon University Estate
  • Prizes
  • University of Life
  • In Lighter Vein

Second SEAP Games

The 2nd SEAP (South East Asia Peninsular) Games was held in Rangoon in December 1961.

Aung San Stadium was the main venue for Track & Field and Soccer. Swimming, Diving and Water Polo contests wer held at the Amyotha Yay Koo Kan (National Swimming Pool) on U Wisara Road.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is university-athletes.jpg
University Athletes for 2nd SEAP Games 

  • Dean U Yu Khin was Chairman of the Sports Promotion Committee.
  • U Tin Maung Swe was Secretary of the Sports Promotion Committee.
  • Dr. Ko Ko Lay was Chairman of the University Sports Council.

About 20 University Students represented Burma in the Games. They include

  • Tun Mra, Kyaw Mra, Soe Mra and Tun Naung (Athletics)
  • Derek Lynsdale and Aye Kyaw (Swimming)
  • Richard Yu Khin (Yachting)
  • Joe Ba Maung, Than Lwin and Mu Mu Khin (Tennis)
  • Mao Toon Siong and C. Say Eng (Table Tennis)
  • Maung Hla and Thida (Badminton)
  • Myo Nyunt (Weightlifting)
  • Kyaw Han (Volleyball)
  • Nyan Min (Basketball)


In Track and Field, Burma placed first in the medal standings. Tun Mra won a Gold in the 4×100 m relay with Soe Aung (Burma Champion) as anchor. Kyaw Mra won the Hurdles. Soe Mra won the Pole Vault. Tun Mra, Kyaw Mra and Soe Mra are the sons of U Shwe Mra. Kyaw Mra would later serve as National Coach.


In Swimming, Burma placed first in the medal standings. Tin Maung Ni won 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 4x100m freestyle relay, and 4×100 medley relay. His team mates won the other events. Aye Kyaw (cousin of Dr. Hla Yee Yee) and Derek Lynsdale represented Burma in swimming.


Richard Yu Khin won Gold in Yachting.


Joe Ba Maung was the National Singles Champion in Tennis. He and Than Lwin were the National Doubles Champion. Than Lwin would succeed Joe Ba Maung as the Singles Champion. Mu Mu Khin (Daphne Tha Dok) was the Ladies Champion, She later married Than Lwin.

Table Tennis

Mao Toon Siong was Burma Champion for Singles and Doubles in Table Tennis. He later served as National Coach.

Photo : Richard Yu Khin

Some Champions


Myee Tun Naw was Burma and SEAP Champion for Marathon.

The Mra brothers — Tun Mra (sprint), Kyaw Mra (hurdles) and Soe Mra (Pole Vault) — represented Burma in the 1st and 2nd SEAP Games. They won Gold Medals.

Shigan Bum was Burma and SEAP Champion for 5000 and 10000 meters. He succeeded Myee Tun Naw as Marathon Champion.

Jimmy Crampton was Burma and SEAP Champion for 1500 meters.

Gracie Carr, Ma Tin Pu, Ma Khin Htay, and Jennifer Tin Lay were Burma Champions in Track and Field.


Kyar Ba Nyein was a Boxing Champion in the early days. He trained several boxers who became National Champions.

Thein Myint and Tin Tun were Burma Boxing Champions. They represented Burma in SEAP, Asian Games and Olympics.


The list of RUBC Golds can be found in the 90th Anniversary Issue of the founding of RUBC.

There is a Facebook group for YUBC Old Members.

U Tin Htoon and Dr. Harry Saing won the Venables Bowl for coxless pairs at the 1958 ARAE Regatta in Calcutta.

U Tin Htoon, Dr. Harry Saing, Victor Htun Shein, Sunny Teng and U Sein Htoon won the Willingdon Trophy for coxed fours at the 1960 ARAE Eegatta in Colombo.


Suk Bahadhur played soccer for Shan States, Army and Burma. He was Captain of the Burma Selected. He was also chosen as a Asian All Star.

Other Asian All Stars include

  • Maung Maung
  • Khin Maung Tun (Goal)
  • Tin Aung (Goal).


Tin Maung Ni swam for Rangoon University, Navy and Burma. He won several Gold Medals at the SEAP Games and the Asian Games.

Table Tennis

Saya Mao Toon Siong (M62) was Burma Singles and Doubles Champion in Table Tennis. He represented Burma in SEAP, Asian Games and Wold Championship. He served as Coach of the National Table Tennis team.


Joe Ba Maung was Burma Singles Champion in Tennis. He was Burma Doubles Champion with Than Lwin. He was Mixed Doubles Champion with Sayama Ruby Kha.

Than Lwin succeeded Joe Ba Maung as Burma Singles Champion. His spouse Mu Mu Khin represented RU and Burma in the Second SEAP Games.

Later, Maung Maung Lay (Ah Pu Lay) became Burma Singles Champion in Tennis. He was Burma Doubles Champion with Than Htut.

Ba Than Nyunt wrote :

(U) Tin Maung Ni won Gold medals not only in SEAP games but also in two successive Asian Games. If my recall is right, he is from Bhan Maw, Kachin State.

KMZ wrote :

Jimmy Crampton is an OP, Old Paulian. If my memory serves me one of his running partners was non other than our own Dr. Rafiul Ahad, ex-UCC.

Dr. Richard Yu Khin wrote :

I was on the swim team with Tin Maung Ni who is a gentleman. Ten of us were trained by Mr. Matsuda who was on the Japanese national swim team. Mr. Matsuda was manager of a Japanese company in Rangoon. He made us swim six 50 metres sprints, with one minute interval. The time difference for the 1st and 6th sprints — the decline curve should be limited. This was the first time we had scientific training in swimming. Tin Maung Ni was the only Asian, other than Japanese, to win a gold medal in swimming at the Asian Games. The US Embassy provided a goodwill tour of USA for Tin Maung Ni. He is from the Kachin State.

Aung San Stadium

Burma Athletics Association (BAA) has an outdoor stadium for Athletics and Soccer.

Later, it had indoor stadium(s).

The stadium was renamed Aung San Stadium to honor Bogyoke.

We had to march with the Marching Band from St. Paul’s High School (SPHS) to the Aung San stadium to perform Drill as part of the “Education Day” Celebrations. Dennis Stevens (brother of my classmate George Stevens) played the Big Drum. Twin brothers Bo Kyi and Bo Kyi were the drummers. Jerry Hin Hwa, Orlando Thein, Win Maung and Bernard Taylor played selected musical instruments.

Football / Soccer

Outstanding Footballers include :

  • Suk Bahadhur
  • Hla Htay
  • Vernon Stiles (Tin Tun)
  • Ko Ko Gyi
  • Pe Khin
  • Htoo War
  • Tin Aung Moe
  • Maung Maung (Navy)
  • Maung Maung (RU)
  • Aye Maung (PWD)
  • Aye Maung (BAF)
  • Hla Tin (Kee)
  • Gwan Shein (SPED)
  • Collegian Nay Win
  • Tun Kyi
  • Kenneth Shein
  • Tun Wain
  • Than Soe (Suttee)
  • Tin Aung
  • Kyaw Min
  • Khin Maung Tun
  • Auro
  • Gale
  • Tin Han

Burma produced Asian Selected including Suk Bahadur, Maung Maung, and Goalkeepers — Khin Maung Tun and Tin Aung.

The First Division matches are played at Aung San Stadium. The teams include Rangoon University, Burma Railways, Customs, Army, Navy and several others. The bottom teams in the League get relegated to Second Division the following year.

My uncle U Win Tin (GBNF) took me to watch soccer matches. We watched selected matches (e.g. Dunlop Trophy) and some International matches (e.g. 2nd SEAP Games).

The Northern and Southern Stands cost about fifty pyas, but they provided limited scope and vision. But, they have roofs.

Grand Stand costs about five kyats. It would be a rare treat to watch from the Grand Stand (especially near the center line).

The Open Stand opposite the Grand Stand is a good compromise for about K1.50. We had to carry umbrella or wear raincoat for matches during the Rainy Season.

The Inter State and Division (ISD) Soccer tournament was established in 1952. Shan States with Suk Bahadhur won the inaugural tournament ISD Champions.

Mandalay (with Ba Pu), Tennessarim (with Ko Ko Gyi), Irrawaddy (with Hla Htay) became Contenders and/or Champions. Many players were recruited by the First Division teams and some became Burma Selected.

Swimming and Diving

Male Swimmers

  • Tin Maung Ni
  • Mya Thee
  • Maung Kyi
  • Aung Than
  • Nyunt Soe
  • Chit Soe
  • Oscar Thwin
  • Derek Lynsdale
  • Aye Kyaw
  • Willie Huie
  • Richard Yu Khin
  • Htay Aung
  • Nanda Kyaw Zwar

Female Swimmers

  • Sally Soe
  • Mary Soe
  • Elizabeth Smythe
  • Marlar Swe
  • Polly Ba San (Polly Win)
  • Sylvia Thwin


  • Thet Win
  • Philip Smythe
  • William Smythe

Dr. Richard Yu Khin wrote :

Swimmers trained by Mr. Matsuda in 1959 include Derek Lynsdale (backstroke), Aye Kyaw (Hla Yee Yee’s cousin) and Willie Huie (breast-stroke). A few years ago saw photo of Thet Win at Kokine Swimming Club, and Aung Than who is working as swim coach in Bangkok. Derek Lynsdale’s mother was a Lecturer at Rangoon University who moved to a university in East Africa subsequent to military coup in 1962. Aye Kyaw was Tin Maung Ni’s deputy in the Burma Navy.


  • Joe Ba Maung
  • Than Lwin
  • Tin Si
  • Khin Si
  • Pe Than Maung
  • Thein Tun (Robert)
  • Biak Cin
  • Maung Maung Lay (Ah Pu Lay)
  • Than Htut
  • Aung Htay
  • Tin Aung Cho
  • Khin Maung Aye
  • Khin Maung Chone
  • Mu Mu Khin (Daphne Tha Dok)
  • Joy Hla Pe
  • Jacqueline Tun Shwe
    • Daw Hla Tin
  • Ni Ni Chone

Rowing / RUBC

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dr-thein-toe-dr.-harry-saing-1.jpg
Dr. Harry Saing on the right


Old members of RUBC (Rangoon University Boat Club) are fondly known as Old Crocs (or Crocodiles).

When RUBC was destroyed due to the ravages of war, the Old Crocs rebuilt the Club and provided physical, financial and spiritual support to the members to compete against the best from neighboring countries.

During our younger days, there is an “Old Members Race” at the Monsoon and Annual Regattas. The contestants range from young Old Members to the iconic Past Champions.

The Old Crocs have their mini-reunions where ever possible. They also share memories of the precious photos (e.g. of U Chan Tha, Jimmy Saw Lwin, …)

U San Maung

U San Maung (Gerald Sein, GBNF) is a Past Secretary and RUBC Gold. He is the elder brother of U Yan Shin (Hardy). He would find time from his work as Production Manager of “Amotha Yoke Shin”, and come down to RUBC to mentor the members (especially the aspiring Golds). He would mandate “fixed tub” practice for the members.

Dr. Htut Saing

Dr. Htut Saing (Harry Saing, GBNF) is Past Captain and Gold of RUBC. He won ARAE events twice :

  • the Venables Bowl for Coxless Pairs at the 1958 ARAE Regatta in Calcutta with U Tin Htoon (A60)
  • the Willingdon Trophy for Coxed Fours in the 1960 ARAE Regatta in Colombo with U Tin Htoon (A60), Sunny Teng (relocated to Canada), Victor Htun Shein (GBNF) and U Sein Htoon (M63, Cox)

He usually rowed as Box on the RUBC crews. As an exception, he served as Timing Stroke and Coach for the RUBC Eights in 1962. U Win Kyi (RUBC Gold, son of Miss Hong Kong (Ms. Amelia Kyi) rowed as No. (7). There were seven new Golds in that crew : Myo Tin (William Hone), Htain Linn and Mehm Myo Thaung (Maurice) for the Stroke side, Myo Myint (EC67), Oung Kyaing and Thein Aung (Micky Tan) for the Bow side and Tin Aung (Victor Wu, Cox).

Dr. Pe Nyun (Dick, Past Captain and Gold of RUBC) and Dr. Htut Saing (Harry) are Pediatric surgeons at the Rangoon Children Hospital. They are known for operating on Ma Nan Soe and Ma Nan San.

Dr. Htut Saing continued working and teaching in Hong Kong. He became Patron of the Hong Kong Rowing and Sailing Club. He would fully support the RUBC crews competing in the FEARA Regatta in Hong Kong.


U Tin U, U Maung Maung Than Tun, Saya U Tin Htut, Saya Dr. Than Nyunt (George), U Tin Htoon, Dr. Donald Chan, U Tun Shein (Willie), U Tun Aung (George), U Sein Htoon, Dr. Tin Wa, U Myo Myint, U Thura Thant Zin, U Htaik San (Henry), and several Old Crocs attended Regattas (especially the 90th Anniversary of the founding of RUBC).

Most of them contributed articles, photos and financial support for printing the commemorative issue, and for reprinting Sir Aurthur Eggar’s biography.

Sad to note that there was some disjoint between the really young members (who are busy with the competitions) and the really Old Members (especially who travel from abroad to attend the events).

Hope YUBC members have better rapport with the Old Crocs.



Modern Olympics was a revival of the ancient games held every four years at Olympia.

The four year interval is called an Olympiad. The ancient Greeks use Olympiad instead of years when describing dates.

Pierre de Coubertin created the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894.

IOC selects a city or cities to hold the Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics. The two Olympics are interlaced.

Drama in the Olympics

Summer Olympics has its share of drama.

The 1936 Summer Olympics was held in Berlin and was attended by Adolf Hitler (who promoted the supremacy of the Aryan race). Jesse Owens, a black athlete from the USA, won four Gold medals : 100m, 200m, 4 x 100m relay, and Long Jump.

The drama occurred in the Long Jump event. Jesse Owens was having some problems in the Long Jump when the German competitor Lang advised him to leave about six inches gap behind the broad to prevent overstepping and getting disqualified. Jesse took the advice, regained his poise and went on to win the Long Jump Gold. It was a mark of true sportsmanship.

1972 Olympics in Munich saw both good and bad.

Mark Spitz (USA) won seven Gold medals in swimming : 100m & 200m Freestyle, 100m & 200m Butterfly, 4 x 100m Freestyle relay, 4 x 200m Freestyle relay, and 4 x 100 Medley relay. He saved energy by not competing in the trials for selected relay events.

Olga Kolburt (USSR) was awarded a couple of Perfect Ten in Gymnastics.

Eleven Israeli athletes were kidnapped (shown live on TV) and murdered by Black September. Mossad took several years to track down and decimate Black September.

USA boycotted the 1980 Olympics held in Moscow.

USSR retaliated with a boycott of the 1984 Olympics held in Los Angeles.


Some Olympians went on to have illustrious careers.

Johnny Weissmuller, swimming champion, gained fame as Tarzan in the movies.

Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., Light Heavyweight Boxing Champion, went on to become Mohammad Ali, three time World Heavyweight Boxing Champion.

Media Coverage

During my SPHS days, there was no television in Burma. I received a ticket from Brother Austin as a prize to see the “1960 Rome Olympics” documentary at Thamada (President) cinema.

I was in the UK and was fortunate to see the 1972 Munich Olympics on a Color television.


Mingun Bell

For a certain period, the Mingun Bell weighing 55555 viss was the largest functioning ringing bell in the world. Young Burmese remember the weight of the bell with the mnemonic “Min Phyu Hman Hman Pyaw”. One viss equals 3.6 pounds.

Mingun Jetavana Sayadaw

Sayadaw U Narada is credited for the revival of Vipassana (Insight) Meditation in Burma. Mahasi Sayada and Taung Pu Lu Sayadaw are two of his disciples.

Mingun Tipitaka Sayadaw

Sayadaw U Vicittasarabhivamsa is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for his memory feats. He is the first to be awarded “Guardian & Treasurer of the Tipitaka”. At the Sixth Buddhist Council held in Kaba Aye, Sayadaw recited and elaborated on Vinaya (Monastic rules of conduct), Sutta (Discourses) and Abhidhamma (Ultimate Reality).

Rangoon University Estate

Rangoon University Estate included the following (with name changes and/or structural changes over the years).

  • Rangoon College
  • Judson College
  • BOC College
  • Convocation Hall
  • Administrative Offices
  • Housing for sayas
  • Hostels for male and female students
  • RUSU (Rangoon University Students’ Union)
  • Sanatorium (Tekkatho Hospital)
  • RU Gymnasium
  • Tekkatho Dhammayone
  • RUBC (Rangoon University Boat Club)
  • RU Swimming Pool
  • Soccer fields
  • Tennis courts
  • Recreation Center (Chess, Basketball, Table Tennis, Badminton, Fine Arts …)
  • Libraries
  • Canteens

The Estate was managed by the Estate Engineer and his team.

U Nyo, a philanthropist, was a major donor for RUSU, RU Gymnasium and RUBC. He was conferred an Honorary Doctorate by RU.

RUSU has an important role in the History of Burma. It was the training ground for students, who later shone as regional and national leaders. Sadly, the building was demolished on 8th July 1962.

Sir Arthur Eggar, Law Professor, pledged/donated a third of his salary for RUBC. Monetary support from Dr. U Nyo and other patrons accelerated the growth of RUBC into a reputable rowing club in Burma (and beyond).

In the early days, it was convenient and not so costly to attend RU even for those who do not have scholarships and stipends. In addition to have a reasonably good quality of education (as shown by the high success rate of Burmese scholars), there was ample time and opportunity to participate and excel in sports, hobbies (SPARK, aero-modeling, so-ka-yay-tee, public speaking, debates, …)

RU produced doctors, engineers, scientists, social scientists … who were outstanding for their extra-curricular activities.

It is sad to see students forgoing their dreams because of the need to make “long” commutes and without the choice of “affordable” housing (hostel, …) . It is sad to learn that many students cannot afford the time to participate and excel in sports and hobbies.

A reasonably good “environment / program ” might nurture “Jack of all trades and master of some”.


Nobel Prizes

Alfred Nobel was a Swedish scientist.

Per Alfred Nobel’s will, the prizes are awarded for

  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Physiology or Medicine
  • Literature
  • Peace

In 1968, a Prize for Economics was added by the Swedish Central Bank. It is informally known as “Nobel Prize in Economics”.

There are web sites and books about the Prizes and their recipients in general, and some controversies about the Nobel Prize selection.

The ACM Turing Award is considered as “Nobel Prize in Computing”.

The Field Medal is considered as “Nobel Prize in Mathematics.”

ACM Turing Award

  • The ACM Turing Award is considered as “Nobel Prize in Computing”.
  • The award is given in honor of Alan M Turing, a Computer Pioneer.
  • The award is presented by the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM).
  • The prize money is currently US $ 1 Million.

Field’s Medal

The Field Medals is considered as the Nobel Prize in Mathematics.

University of Life

I had formal schooling, but most of the materials I am posting are from the “Lay Na Ban” (Lan Na Bay) Tekkatho of the “University of Life”.

Met Barbers, Cab Drivers and Say sayas who turned out to be good story tellers.


Ko Thet was a neighbor of Mintha Yoyogyi Zeya. He was a barber. He also had cameo appearances in some movies.

There were several barbers at the “Pinky San Tha” (hair salon). My uncle would wait for his favorite barber. It was probably an early lesson in Customer Relationship Management.

Cab Driver

The bad traffic in Yangon can be tolerated if the Cab Driver is a good conversationalist. One young driver lamented about the decline of moral values, and wished the reintroduction of Ethics in the present curriculum.

Say Saya

I visited an old dhamma friend. She has an indigenous clinic that was manned by a former monk (Dhammacariya and a good speaker).

One Say Saya (medical practitioner in indigenous medicine) was a member of the BCP (Burma Communist Party) and went underground with his spouse. He returned to the legal fold. Sad to say, his spouse married his former boss and remained underground for a long time.n

In Lighter Vein

Set Hmu [Maung] Thein Aung

U Thein Aung (M72) presents the differentiation with U Thein Aung (Met72).

  • I am Set HmuMaung Thein Aung. (I am Maung Thein Aung studying Mechanical Engineering.)
  • He is Set Hmu MaungThein Aung. (He is Thein Aung, who won Mr. RIT award and Sa Lwei Thaing in 1968).

Ba La Gyi vs. Ba Lar Gyi

During his RIT days, U Thein Aung (Met72) was “Ba La Gyi” (full of strength and prowess).

Lately, he has become “Ba Lar Gyi” (nothing notable left).

Khin Maung Win (EP69)

At a 69er gathering, Daw Saw Yu Tint (T69) greeted U Khin Maung Win (EP69) as Sargalay (“sparrow”).

He replied, “I am no longer Sargalay. I have became a La Da (“vulture”).

Kar Ku La Thin Char

Saya U Aung Myint (Pet69, Kyant Ba Hone) drew a cartoon:

“Ah Ba, Kar Ku La Thin Char (Calculus) is fascinating.
If you differentiate a La Da, you get a Sargalay.
If you integrate a Sargalay, you get back a La Da.”


A palindrome reads the same when read forward or backward.

There are palindromes in languages, music and art. The Pulitzer Prize winning book on Escher (Painter), Godel (Mathematician) and Bach (Composer) discusses threads that are common to Mathematics and Computer Science, Arts and Music. One such thread is a palindrome. For example, a musical composition (which is a palindrome) can be played from the front to back, and vice versa.

The earliest palindrome supposedly occurred in the Garden of Eden.
MADAM I’M ADAM and the reply EVE

Napoleon Bonaparte is the first Corsican to attend the French Military Academy. He rose to be a young General, and then an Emperor. He supposedly lamented as follows: ABLE WAS I ERE I SAW ELBA .

There were two early Canals (Suez and Panama) to shorten the sea routes. The degree of difficulty was not the same. It took meticulous planning to build the Panama Canal. It gave rise to the palindrome :

Ashin Pannagavesaka wrote :

Parent #1: My son’s only four and he can already spell his name backwards.
Parent #2: Oh? And what’s his name?
Parent #1: Otto.

Einstein Jokes

In our younger days, there were Newton jokes. Later, there were Einstein jokes.

It is possible that someone processed a joke about an absent minded professor and then attributed to a famous person.

Einstein (1)

It was raining. Einstein took off his hat and hid it in his coat.
A student asked “Why?”
The reply : “My hat is new and can be damaged. But my head cannot be damaged by the rain.”

Einstein (2)

A ticket inspector boarded a train. Einstein searched for his pockets.
The inspector said, “You need not show me the ticket. You are Einstein.”
The reply : “I do not know which stop I should get down.”

Einstein (3)

Einstein was carrying a stack of books. He collided with a lovely student.
The books fell down.
The student collected the books and returned them to Einstein.

Einstein asked, “Which way was I going?”
The student replied, “You were going towards the school.”
Einstein felt relieved and said, “Then, I must had my lunch at home.

Categories: S T U

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