I had the opportunity to serve as Master of Ceremonies at two last journeys.
Last Journey for Htay Lwin Nyo
- Dr. Htay Lwin Nyo (EP 74) attended RIT and UCC.
- His last job was Part time Professor of Electrical Engineering at San Jose State University.
- Passed away alone at his home.
- When he did not show up for the classes, his students requested SJSU authorities to investigate.
- The Dean of the SJSU EE Department told his students to contact Htay Lwin Nyo’s relatives via the Burmese in the San Francisco Bay Area.
- Ko Khin Maung Zaw (EC76) set up the commemorative web pages on the first ex-RIT web site. He also contacted Ko Kyaw Zwar Than (Jaws, then in Canada).
Cremation, Ash Scattering, Soon Kwyay
- The Burmese Community helped with the Last Journey.
- Pushed the trigger to start the incinerator.
- Accompanied Dr. Lyn Swe Aye and Dr. Khin Nyo Thet to scatter his ashes in Santa Cruz.
- Offered Soon Kwyay at Tathagatha Meditaion Center (TMC), San Jose.
- The sad saga is described in
Last Journey for Sayadaw U Silananda
- Sayadaw was a Trail Blazer for the Burmese monks doing Dhamma Duta missions in the USA and beyond.
- Sayadaw was also requested to serve as the first Rector of the International Theravada Buddhist University (IMBTU).
- At the request of the devotees of Mahasi Sayadaw, he and U Kelasa were left behind in the USA.
U Kelasa moved to the East Coast.
- Theravada Buddhist Society of America (TBSA) was established in the San Francisco Bay Area to support Sayadaw U Silananda and the resident monks of Dhammanda Vihara (first located in Daly City and later moved to Half Moon Bay).
- Sayadaw passed away on August 13, 2005.
- He was 78 years old.
- Served as Master of Ceremonies at the Memorial Service.
- 50+ Theravada monks from Burma, USA, and UK attended.
- Two Pro-Rectors — Sayadaw U Nanadamalabhivamsa and Dr. Myint Kyi — represented IMBTU.
- “The sun that rose in the East has set in the West” proclaimed Sitagu Sayadaw.
Scattering the Ashes
- Carried the box containing Sayadaw’s ashes.
- Saya U Myat Htoo (C68, President of TBSA) led the procession.
- Ashes were scattered near Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco from a yacht.
- Sayadaw’s last journey was recorded by official photographers and videographers.
- Served as Book Committee member and Contributing Editor for “Paying Homage to Saya U Silanananda.
- The 2-set DVD of Saydaw’s last journey was provided as a supplement for the Commemorative book.
- The 10th Anniversary of Sayadaw’s demise was celebrated in August 2015 at Dhammananda Vihara.
I had the honor to say kind words about the fallen alumni
- Darren Lee (M62, GBNF)
- Henry Chee (U Myint Lwin, C63, GBNF)
- John T Lee (U Tin Myint, M69, GBNF)
No Last Journey for us
- There will be no last journey for us.
- We have registered as organ donors.
- We cherish the appreciation of the sponsors, donors, volunteers, and well-wishers for the soon kyway on August 20, 2016 at Half Moon Bay monastery.
- Received an appreciation award from RIT Alumni world wide.
- Thanks to sayas and alumni near and far who took special time to express their appreciation to the messenger / amateur historian.
- Simply following the practice of our philanthropic ancestors, who donated cash and kind for hospitals, clinics, schools, pagodas and tazaungs.
- Ko Thaung Sein (Steeve Kay, EC70, Multiple Golden Sponsor) said, “Do not retire. Re-tire.”
He mentioned that if we can serve the sayas and alums for two decades, we should be satisfied since RIT is a dying breed.