HM : SPHS (2)

Saya U Hla Myint (Charlie, M65, Sydney) wrote :

Saya U Pe Thein and Saya U Nyunt Maung were Mathematics teachers in our 5th & 6th standards.

These two Sayas really made the logic behind solving problems, made us (struggling drum heads) crystal clear so that my monthly report cards did not contain a big RED F anymore. This had getting my dad’s signature to certify that he’d seen the achievement of his only son at the elite St Paul’s Institution a much easier task.

From that point on my academic record took off until the end of my Master of Engineering course.

I’m forever grateful to these wonderful teachers who also taught me the technique/art of teaching.

I still remember Dr Hubert for the big bump on the right forehead of his. It looked scary and incomprehensible to us boys. We give him a wide berth if we saw him coming.

I was walking past the assembly hall one day when a friend told me that a disconcerted student had knifed Brother Edmund in the hall. We all felt very sorry for his unfortunate demise.

Mr Iliffe & Miss Hong Kong (what a strange nickname. Later she explained how she got the epithet) are excellent teachers in Physics and English.

Saya Sein is remembered for the big cane which was frequently used in Year Eight.

These reminisces go back to 1955.
Thanks for rekindling my memory with your article on St Paul’s.

With warmest regards,
[Saya] Charlie Hla Myint

Editor’s notes:

The teaching staff at SPHS evolved over the years.

In the early days, Saya Dawson (Burma Chess Champion) taught Mathematics. He would also challenge his students to play chess with him. Depending on the skill level of the opponent, he would drop a Queen, Rook, Bishop, … from his side. His favorite attack is using one or both knights to “pin” the opponent’s Big Pieces. He later founded his own tuition school.

Saya Illife produced lecture and lab guides for Physics. He even compiled English poems and articles. Saya retired or transferred before we reached high school. Note that SPHS has a science laboratory.

Ms. Amelia Kyi is the aunt of Dr. Tin Wa (SPHS 57) and Dr. Frankie Ohn (Hla Tin Ngwe, SPHS 59, First in Burma). Their uncle went to study in Hong Kong and brought back a bride. “Miss Hong Kong” taught English in our 6th and 7th standards. She would fine 25 pyas if a student answers in Burmese. She would fine 50 pyas in one fails in a test (spelling, dictation or written), but she would also reward 50 pyas to those who “do well”. Since my pocket money was 25 pyas per day, what could I do? Sayama might be pleased to know that her training regimen morphed me into a reasonably good writer and editor. Sayama had three sons. The eldest became a monk. The second (U Win Kyi) became RUBC Gold and a staff member of SPED (Sports and Physical Education). The youngest (U Min Kyi) became RUBC Green and a UBA/BAC pilot.

Saya U Nyunt Maung taught Burmese in our 8th standard. For primary and middle school, the “class teacher” will usually teach most subjects : Maths, General Science, … (except Burmese or English).

I’m not sure if we were taught by Saya U Pe Thein. I left out Saya U Kyaw Oo and Saya U Tha Mya (Burmese teacher in 4th std).

The Brothers pardoned Wilfred Boudville, who “killed” Brother Edmund. Wilfred was a relative of Sayama Violet Boudville (class teacher of 5th D).

Dr. Thane Oke Kyaw Myint (SPHS 60) noted that most (if not all) “transfer” students were placed in Section D. For that reason (may be), I had to “prove myself” in 5th D, 6th D and 7th D before SPHS moved me to 8th A.

The “seeding” is not perfect, because it cannot predict the success of “late bloomers” from other sections. From our batch, three (or more) from Section B became Ph.D’s. Two (or more) became well-known and rich “private tuition sayas”.

Myint Thin (SPHS65, M71) wrote :

Thank you for the RIT Update as well as SPHS Update. I am 2 years junior to you but have less memory of some of the Sayas (and staff) that you mentioned.

Editor’s notes:

In 1965, Bernard Khaw placed First in Burma, but due to “admission criteria” at that time he could not apply to professional courses. He migrated to Canada and/or US.

Ko Myint Thin headed the 1st BE intake of 65. He was selected Luyechun twice. He rowed for RIT.

Categories: Schools

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