Proj 1

* Eddie Teoh

From the SPZP-2000 Archives

Dear Ko Hla Min,

Khin Thein Yi and I are appreciative of the great amount of time and devotion spent by ALL the organizers, volunteers and spouses towards this Re-Union effort. Thank you much y’all!

Your success was AWESOME! Imagine a crowd of 300+ Burmese ex-RIT alumni and spouses in this foreign country, and most of them apparently successful in their own way. Makes me feel proud of the whole bunch; this mixed with melancholia to think of the loss of much needed brainpower, guts and grits that our motherland did not utilize.

Heart touching also was the sight of former students paying their respects to the Sayagyis of old; this revered old custom of ours is so so different from the new culture that we have immersed ourselves in, for the last (twenty-eight for me) years.

Many sayagyis were there, but in spirit they also represented all our other teachers from kindergarten to graduation. We reminisced also about Sayas Ba Hli, Sein Hlaing, Ba Than, Saw Pru, Simon, Chit (Blacksmith), Hla Myint, professors sent thru the Colomo Plan, the Russian professors, some of them I remember by face but have forgotten the names (shame on me!) and many others. Julie Han was sobbing with joy at the end of this ceremony; my throat was all choked up as I wiped the tears from my eyes. THANK YOU ALL MY SAYAS AND SAYAMAS.

Wow! I suddenly realized that it was several decades since I graduated. It is strange to perceive that many of the RIT sayas graduated after us.

In my first year Engineering, Saya Allen Htay and Saya San Hla Aung freshly graduated taught “Geometrical & Mechanical Drawing” class for less than a year before they went to study in the U.S.A.

Before we came, we looked at the roster, it seems that there were so few of my contemporaries attending, and that we would feel at a loss. Not so. All the RITians behaved like one big family. Faces and names that we had forgotten for decades were refreshed. Some of the guys were hardly recognizable. Suddenly, we are much younger again. I greeted some of the guys with a “Hey fella”, like it was only yesterday when we were attending RIT.

Quick Impressions:

  • Loo Yap May screaming when she saw Khin Thein Yi.
  • Some of these ladies are very un-Burmese-like, with their kisses and huggings and screamings. Ha! Ha!
  • Saya Num Pon actually blushing, when I mentioned about the girl that was chasing him, when we went on our summer training in B.O.C. Chauk.
  • Benny Tan’s collection of memorabilia from RIT days, including Spott’s “Machine Design” and slide rule. I think Saya Ko Ko Gyi introduced that text to us.
  • Did not get a chance to say “Hi” to Ko Tin Htoon (Arch 60). Hi! Ko Tin Htoon.
  • Old friend Saya Say Teong (Tin Maung) visiting us from Burma. Must be a big shot there.
  • Many faces I remember, but cannot place their names.
  • Forcible body removal of photographers, so that the official photographer can get a good shot with his wide angle camera.
  • That Daniel [Tint Lwin] from Singapore sings good. Yup! Daniel, you organize for over 500 people, we will be there. Daniel, say “Hi” to Nellie.
  • Jeffrey Kamdar handing out friendship pens.
  • Aw Taik Moh (C1954) still working and looking chipper.
  • Learnt that Mya Thwin’s wife Suzie is ex-Methodist. My alma mater.
  • Teary-eyed Reggie Wu.
  • We think of Amy Thwin (Tin Tin Ohn), Dolly Thwin (Ni Ni Thwin), sisters (both ex-RIT) who have both passed away.
  • Anthony recounts how six Chem. Es including Saya Chwan, Willie, Moy and two others pooled enough money to immigrate one to the U.S., and pulling the next guy in when financially able. Admirable.
  • And so on, and so on, and so on, and so on (Remember English Tutor Saya Pereira??). Physics – Saya Bharadwaja

One gripe. Time went by too fast. One dinner (what did we eat, I forgot) and one picnic was not sufficient to see or greet some of the friends long forgotten. We had several sub-parties and get-togethers – buffet at Lee’s, lunch at Benny Tan’s beautiful abode (congrats Benny and wife – you are the American dream come true), tea at Saya Allen Htay and Muriel’s house at the tip of Silicon Valley), lunch at Julie Han’s niece’s, dinner with a few Chem.Es graced by Saya Khin Aung Kyi, brunch at George Chen’s, San ‘Frisco tour with Saya Khin Aung Kyi. We still could not get enough of it.

Like my friend (my class-mate, my co-worker, my sibling rival) Dr. Tin Win says, “It sure is hard to come back to work”. Aw shucks! We gotta get back to reality and normal life.

Goodnight, and thanks again y’all.

Eddie (M64) & Khin Thein Yi (ChE65)

Editor’s notes:
The fifteen Teoh siblings are named alphabetically from Albert (the eldest) to Oscar (the youngest). U Cecil (C63) and U Eddie (M64) are RIT alumni. They rank 3rd and 5th among the siblings.

Categories: Proj 1, SPZP

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