by U Zaw Min Nawaday (EP70) and U Ohn Khine (M70)
During our first and second years, we were wild eyed students, partially overwhelmed by the imposing buildings and the college level classes.
Our outlook changed when we started our third year. We felt we were experienced students who knew their way around. During the first month of the school year, we would sometimes cut classes to go to RASU. Ko Win Htut (C), Ko Kyaw Phone Myint (M), Ko Nyunt Mg San (C), Ko Myo Khin (C, one year senior), Ko Tin Aye (M) were in that group. In addition, our 64 intake group of Ko Kyaw Phone Myint (M), Ko Nyunt Mg San (C), Ko Phone Thwin (Mn), Ko Win Htut (C), teamed up with Ko Myo Khin (C), Ko Tin Nwe (C, GBNF), Ko Min Thaw (E, GBNF), Ko Win Htein (A, GBNF), Ko Chit Po Po (M, GBNF), Ko Htin Aung (C), from the one year senior group and we could be seen sitting in the pathway leading to U Tin Maung’s shop, talking and laughing loudly.
In addition, with my room mate that year in C block, Sai Aung San (Met), I even traveled to MC2 a couple of times during school hours. I gave that up since the distance to travel was very long and was not worth it to satisfy a fleeting interest. I also remember going to Prome hall with Sai Aung San to eat the Sa Dhu Dee Thar given there for Tazaungdaing. That was the only night male students could get inside the Hostel compound after 6pm. The compound held three women’s hostels, Tagaung, Prome and another hostel that I have forgotten the name of. Needless to say, we avoided the Tagaung Hall, where our sisters were staying.
Sai Aung San and I were both goalkeepers. He was RIT B selected during out first year. We took turns in minding goal in Inter Block games. By a strange coincidence, his sister and mine were room mates at Tagaung Hall that year.
One thing different about playing football in our third year was that I no longer trained hard to better myself. I was content to use my angle cutting skills to keep the score down. In one Inter Block game, I was tending goal for C Block. A player from the opposing team, a final year student, ran up to me after I had caught the ball and threw himself to the ground. I thought it was strange he would do that. After the game, Ko Naing Win (M, GBNF), who was watching the game, remarked to me that I had “hacked” the other man down viciously. Since he was watching from a distance, he had no way of knowing what really happened. I told Ko Naing Win I did not even touch the other guy and that he threw himself down. Only much later did I learn that the person who threw himself to the ground did it to show someone who was watching from G Hall what a bad person I was, hitting him viciously. I was quite dismayed some people would go to such lengths to discredit me.
In addition to the Inter Block competition, Inter Department competition was held. I tended goal for the Electrical Dept.. We played against Civil Dept. in the finals and lost 0-1. I still remember the goal I let in (my fault again). Ko Kyaw Htin (C67, Burma Youth and Universities selected), kicked in a free kick from about 18 yards. I didn’t even need to jump to get the ball. As I was catching the ball, Ko Myo Nyunt (C69, RIT selected), rushing in, yelled out to frighten me. Distracted for a split second, I dropped the ball and he tapped it into the net. After that debacle, I knew I did not possess the mental toughness, confidence and concentration needed to be a good goalkeeper. A couple of years later, when the Universities team was visiting Maymyo, Ko Soe Myint Lwin (EP 68) told me he will ask the Universities coach, Saya U Nyein, to let me be the goalkeeper for the game against the Maymyo Selected if I wanted to play. I told him I did not want to play. He asked me if I was afraid, and I remember telling him that I was. I just did not trust myself to play flawlessly after the game against the Civil Dept.
Track and Field
The only other RIT sponsored activity I took part in our third year was to participate as an EC on the Track and Field Association. Saya Mr Num Kok (C) was the president and Ko Henry Khin Mg Lay (T68, nickname “Kywe Gyi”), was the secretary. The good thing about being in that T&F association was that Ko Henry Khin Mg Lay liked to have meetings, which were held at Mr Num Kok’s residence and Mrs Num Kok would serve great cookies, which we greatly enjoyed eating. Being an EC member, I got to sit in the RIT tent at the annual Inter Institute Track and Field meet.
Sai Thein Maung (C) got golds in 100 meters and Hop Step and Jump. Helen Pershad (Ch 72, younger sister of Ma Tin Tin Nwe (Ch)), got the first ever women’s gold medal for RIT in the ladies high jump competition. Watching the women’s high jump, we could not help noticing a beautiful student from the Institute of Education among the participants. She was Marjorie Duncan, later to become Mrs U Win Mra. Ko Oo Myint (Mn) and Ko Aung Gyi Shwe (Ep, one year senior), got silver medals in Javelin and 200m respectively.
Time outside RIT
Third year also meant spending more time outside RIT. I remember going to Hnin Si Gone Bo Bwar Yeiktha fun fair with Ko Myo Khin (C, senior to us in 1964), and Ko Nyunt Mg San (C), stopping by at the stall ran by Ma Than Than Yi (T71). I believe Ma Than Than Yi’s parents (“Han Tha Aye Nylon”) were the principal sponsors of that event.
Sometimes, I would go to Ko Nyunt Mg San’s house in Inya Myaing on weekends and his mother would prepare lunch for us. Ko Nyunt Mg San’s mother, Daw Daw Nyunt, was a classmate of my mother at the Mandalay ABM school back in their high school days (late 1920s). Knowing I loved Hta Ma Nae, Ko Nyunt Mg San would bring it to RIT for me to eat whenever Hta Ma Nae was made in his home. Ko Nyunt Mg San accompanied me to Maymyo on one of the holiday school closures but I do not remember which year that happened.
We all started summer training after the half yearly exams in March. It was decision time for me. Since summer training was a requirement for graduating from RIT, I had to submit my resignation from UTC. It was the first of many decisions I had to make regarding what I would have loved to do, and what I really had to do for practical reasons.
I believe Ko Han Tha Myint was with us when we opted to go to the Post and Telecom for our training. We were first sent to the P & T storage facility at Botahtaung, next to the main exchange at Pansodan and then to the long distance interface exchange in Maung Taw Lay Lan. Lastly, we had to go to the wireless relay station in Toe Gyaun Gale. The bad thing about going there was once we got there, the train back to the central Yangon station did not come until about 3.30pm
Kauk Yoe Mee
I also had another of my Kauk Yoe Mee projects in our third year. I took lessons in playing the Myanmar Guitar. I was so impressed by the way Ko “Guitar” Than Myint (M) played the Myanmar Guitar that I signed up for lessons taught by Guitar Ko Mya Gyi in Myenigone. After 5 months, Ko Mya Gyi’s assessment of me was “rough player”. I had tried to do something I did not have the aptitude for. I didn’t even know how to distinguish a note so that I did not know whether my guitar needed tuning or not.
Football Competition at Aung San Stadium
All of us had something to cheer for when we went to Aung San Stadium in May 1967 for the finals of the Opening Cup competition. The finalists were Universities and P&T. Universities team won 1-0, the winning goal being scored by John Tint (M73, (Universities and Burma Youth Selected). At that time, John Tint had just passed the Matric exam. He entered RIT as a Mechanical engineering student in October 1967.
After the Final Exams
After the final exams, I took a trip to Rakkhine with Ko Sein Win (EC) and Ko Han Thar Myint (EC).
After coming back from the Rakkhine trip, Ko Kyaw Phone Myint (M), Ko Nyunt Mg San (C) and Ko Han Kyu Pe (A) GBNF), came with me to visit Maymyo. Arriving in Mandalay, I found that my father’s Say Gan was locked, and we decided to go and spend the night at Ko Ye Myint’s (EP, 65 intake) home at the Mandalay University compound. Ko Ye Myint (EP) is Sayagyi U Ba Toke’s son. His mother, Sayagadaw Aunty Khin, was very kind and welcomed us warmly. The next day, we picked up my brother’s car (which was stored at my father’s place), and with Ko Win Htut (C) we went to the Sagaing hills.
A funny incident happened while we were exploring Oo Min Chauk Sae in the Sagaing hills. Ko Win Htut yelled out in fright while we were going into the pitch dark man made caves, thinking he met a “Tha Ye”. Turned out to be Ko Kyaw Phone Myint who had entered from another entrance. Ko Win Htut treated us to lunch at his parent’s house, which was just around the corner from my father’s Say Gan. Ko Win Htut drove us to Maymyo in my brother’s car since I did not have a driver’s license at that time. Ko Win Htut stayed at his parent’s Maymyo house, which was about 10 minutes walk from my house. The rest of my friends stayed with me at my house. I had been taught how to drive by our driver in my high school days, using the army jeep while my father wasn’t looking. Apart from that, I had no experience in driving. Ko Kyaw Phone Myint showed me some fine points about driving during his stay in Maymyo.
We spent time going around Maymyo. I remember going to Anisakan Falls, about 7 miles outside the city limits, where you had to go down a gorge for about 800 feet to reach the mid section of the waterfalls. Anisakan was not just one waterfall. It was a series of waterfalls, some low, some high. By going down 800 feet, following a mountain footpath, we had arrived at the middle of the series of waterfalls. We tried to follow the waterfalls upwards by wading through the rushing waters and climbing up the falls against the current. We gave no thought to the fact that had we lost our footing, we could be swept down the waterfalls. Luckily, we reached a fall that was too steep to climb and we had to turn back. The things we did in those days, I would not do now even if I get the chance to do again.
Fourth BE (1967 – 68)
We felt we were veteran students when we entered the fourth year classes. After all, if we had been at RASU, that would have been the final year.
We had Sayagyi U Ba Than for “Strength of Materials”. Back in our third year, we had all been “stressed” and “strained” by this subject. After listening to Sayagyi U Ba Than’s first lecture, we knew we had nothing to be afraid of. Sayagyi U Ba Than had a unique way of teaching. He would go through the text book, word by word, and explained everything slowly and calmly in very clear terms. If I have to vote for the best lecturer at RIT during our days, Sayagyi U Ba Than has my vote. I have no doubt all the Sayas and Sayamas taught with Cetana in their hearts. Perhaps it was due to our inattentiveness or lack of some fundamental understanding that prevented us from fully understanding what was being taught. With Sayagyi U Ba Than, for some reason, everything he taught registered in our minds.
Saya U Maung Maungg Win (M) and Saya U Soe Paing (E) were two other Sayas that were also excellent teachers (in my opinion). Of course there may have been other Sayas in other disciplines that were excellent teachers but I have no way of knowing.
Years later, after I got married, I was told about the kind “Uncle Gwan” that lived next door to my wife’s house in Windermere. My wife told me her parents bought that house from “Uncle Gwan”. Imagine my surprise when I found out that “Uncle Gwan” was Sayagyi U Ba Than. Many years later, in the USA, I met and became very good friends with Sayagyi U Ba Than’s younger brothers, U Tin Htoon (A60) and U Myo Min (B.Com, Chartered Accountant, former Manager at UCC). U Myo Min is married to Sayama Daw Khin Khin Chit Mg (English), who turned out to be my wife’s classmate since Kindergarten at St John’s Convent. U Tin Htoon (A60) mentioned to me he had designed the house that my In-Laws bought from Sayagyi U Ba Than.
I was the Ah Saung Athwin Ye Hmu for C and D blocks for that year. A decision was made to have a “Sa Dhu Dee Tha” for Tazaungdaing. We wanted to have it done near the RASU campus in Kamayut (in order to attract students from other Institutes), but the final decision came down with the Shwe Dagon Phaya Yin Pyin Daw as the venue. Ko Tha Htay (M), Ko Aung Min (Ch) and I took care of asking for donations from the hostel students.
Ko Kyaw Win Maung (Ch) worked hard to ensure things get done in the Paun Mont Ohn Noe San preparation. I don’t know the details so I hope Ko Kyaw Win Maung (Ch) will write about them. Ma Tin Tin Hla (A) took charge of buying the coconuts, with Ko Mg Mg Swe (M) showing the way (using the RIT truck) to the market that sells coconuts wholesale. After the Sa Dhu Dee Tha, we spent the night on the Phaya Yin Pyin and waited for the Ma Tho Thin Gan to be presented to the Sangha.
Need Anger Management?
The next day, I did something that I regret doing to this day. I got physical with a student from the 2nd yr class. He was putting up a cartoon critical about the behavior of some student volunteers that worked at the previous night’s event. I did something I should never have done, hitting that student with my fists. I was totally wrong to do this sort of thing. If I have the chance to redo things in my life again, this is one thing I would have liked to correct. But, unfortunately, what’s done is done and the past can never be undone. The Registrar, Saya U Hla, was very understanding, and called a meeting of both parties in his meeting room. Our 64 intake students sat down with the 66 intake students, with Saya U Hla and Sayagyi Dr Aung Gyi (C) mediating and resolving the issue. Sayagyi Dr Aung Gyi told me to count to 100 the next time I got angry so that my anger would die down. Unfortunately, that would not have worked with me. I had waited over 2 hours to get my hands on the person responsible for the cartoons. My problem being that once I set my mind to do something, I would do it regardless of the consequences, and even if I had to wait a long time to do so.
This incident came back to haunt me 3 years later when I was about to get married. My wife’s father, a retired Dy. I. G. of Police, asked for a police report on me from his former colleagues in the police force. This incident was mentioned in that report. My wife’s mother, after reading the police report, asked her daughter to call off the wedding. Fortunately (or unfortunately), my wife had the habit of doing the exact opposite of what her mother wished, and went through with her wedding plans.
MAKE RIT BEAUTIFUL
I had another of my Kauk Yoe Mee projects that year. Using my position as Ah Saung Ahtwin Ye Hmu for C and D blocks, I initiated a “make RIT beautiful” drive. With Ko Phone Thwin (Mn), Ko Aung Min (Ch) and others, we started by cleaning up the grass near the pedestrian entrance to RIT from the BPI bus stop. Saya U Myo Win (Agri) came with his tractor and cut down the heavy foliage all the way to the sheds, L1 to L4. Sayagyi U Yone Moe came out to talk to us and mentioned he did not like the way the cactuses that were already growing in the big lawn in front of the Hostels had been planted, since they were not planted uniformly.
Here, I made a mistake. Ko Aung Min (Ch) advised that we should think about planting more cactuses rather than remove the ones that seemed to be planted oddly out of place. I did not take his good advice and tried to remove a cactus tree. I found out the hard way why these plants grow even in desert conditions. It was next to impossible to remove them. So, instead of making RIT beautiful, I created an eye sore by mutilating one of the cactuses.
Pardon My Memory
I do not remember whether the following took place during our fourth year or fifth year. The Inter Institute football tournament was held to include Institutes, Universities and Colleges from the whole country. RIT faced RASU in the semi finals. This competition was held during the summer recess so that not many students were aware of the games.The semi final game was held in Aung San stadium. RIT was the better team, with Ko Khin Mg Shwe on the front left wing, Ko Win Zaw (A), right blender, Sai Thein Maung (C) the goalkeeper and Ko Myint Sein (M), outer right back. Ko Win Zaw thrilled the crowd with his runs down the center of the field. He looked exciting as he ran with the ball, dribbling past opposing players. At times, it seemed no one could stop him. I have no doubt Ko Win Zaw would have been a great Universities selected player had he gone and practiced at the Universities football field under the Universities coach Saya U Nyein. I believe Ko Win Zaw only wanted to play for RIT and did not go. The score was tied 2-2 at full time and the outcome was decided by tossing the coin. Unfortunately, RIT lost the toss and RASU advanced to the finals. In addition, Ko Khin Mg Shwe got a broken rib when a RASU player jumped up and “Knee-ed” him during the match. Going back to RIT, Sayagyi U Maung Maung Than kindly allowed us to ride with the football team on the Hino bus (Sin Phyu Daw Hmee, Kyan Sote).
Ko La Min (EP) was the secretary of the Electrical association that year. I was an EC member. One day, Ko La Min told me he had been asked by Saya U Moe Aung to publish the Electrical magazine. He asked me to speak out against doing the publication. At the meeting, I argued against publishing the magazine. Saya U Sein Win and Saya U Moe Aung spoke for publishing the magazine. A vote was called for. Only I and Ko Ye Myint (EP, 65 intake) were against it. We lost the vote.
A couple of months later, I asked Ko La Min when the magazine will come out. He said “Never” and told me what he did. He insisted on having his room number as the place where articles can be submitted on the announcement, in addition to Saya U Moe Aung’s room. He put away all, but two of the articles, under his bed. When Saya U Moe Aung asked him for the submitted articles, he showed Saya U Moe Aung only the two he did not throw away under his bed. You cannot publish a magazine with two articles only so that was the end of the Electrical magazine.
For summer training in our fourth year at RIT, I went to the small appliance manufacture and repair departments of the small scale industries. Ko La Min (EP) was with me. At the assembly plant of “Sein” radio in Pazundaung, we were asked to solder the circuit boards for the radios.
For the second part of the training program, we were assigned to the small appliance repair shop located on either Merchant St or Anawratha St, near 38th street. Here, we were shown how to test the electric irons that were sent there for repairs. After a week, the supervisor there told us that although he appreciated our work, he wished we would never get posted to his department after we graduate, since we “worked too hard”.
Summer time also meant attending the “Research Congress” held in the RASU campus. Not that we were interested in any engineering research. Our main interest were the papers presented by well known writers of that era, like Thetkatho Phone Naing.
Don’t even think for a minute that we had any literary interests. Our attention was on the large number of the fairer sex that were listening at those meetings.
Sayas’ Football Team
We also had a football match between the Ah Zaung Thar Yar Ye Athin and the Saya’s team. I did not tend the goal for this match and played in midfield instead. I did something I was not proud of in this game. Sayagyi Dr Aung Gyi and I were running for the ball. Sayagyi was surprisingly swift and beat me to the ball. My animal instincts took over and I pushed Sayagyi to the ground and took the ball away. Sorry, Sayagyi. I know I shouldn’t have done that. I acted really bad that time.
The winning goal was scored by Ko Aung Min (Ch) from a ball I pushed forward. To the onlooker from a distance, it might seem that I passed forward for Ko Aung Min to score. In actual fact, I was taking a shot at goal, the ball fell short and got stuck in the mud. Ko Aung Min was nearby to take advantage of the situation and kicked in the winning goal.
Another activity I was involved was as secretary of the Maths Association. The only thing we did was to have a Hoa Pyor Pwe. I don’t remember who the guest speaker was. The only thing I remember is that I had to go and get the Zee Pyaw Ye concentrate and ice for the attendees.
Russian Languge Class
During summer training, either in our fourth year or fifth year, Ko Myo Khin (C, one year senior in 64), and I took lessons in Russian language at the Leik Khone in the evenings. Mrs Marinsky was the instructor. Except for a few words of Russian, I don’t remember much except for the song “Sol Nich Nay Druk”.
After the Finals
After the final exams in our 4th year, I took the “Ah Myan” train back to Mandalay. The train started out from Yangon Central Station at 6am and arrived in Mandalay at 6pm. It was like traveling in an RIT train, since a lot of our fellow RIT students were on it. I had the habit of never letting my parents know when I was coming back. I was prepared to find my way around when I got to Mandalay. Since I did not tell my father I was coming, when I went to his Say Gan on 84th St (Zeygyo) near 32nd St, I found the door locked from the outside. It was about 6.30pm and starting to get dark so I decided to go and spent the night at Ko Ye Myint’s (EP, 65 intake) parents’ house in the Mandalay University compound. I jumped into a “Side Car” for the ride to the Mandalay University compound that cost me 3 Kyats. Ko Ye Myint was not at home when I got to his house, but Sayagadaw Aunty Khin warmly welcomed me and made me feel at home. The next day, I took my brother’s car that was in my father’s Say Gan garage and drove to Maymyo.
Fifth BE (1968 – 69)
After the fourth year, it was decision time for us again. We could either take Electrical Communications (EC) or Electrical Power (EP).
My heart said Communications but my brain decided for Power. Employment opportunities for communications graduates were limited so I decided to do what should be done, rather than what I wanted to do. I had to wait another 12 years before I could do what I wanted to do, take Electronics when I continued my studies in the USA.
I was surprised to learn that someone else did the opposite. I met Ko Henry Khoo (EC 67) while attending the mini reunion hosted by Ko Thaung Sein (Steeve Kay, EC70), in December 2011. He had taken the opposite path. He took Electrical Communications at RIT and changed to Electrical Power when he came to USA.
When the fifth year started, I decided not to get too involved in activities at RIT. Still, I remained as the Secretary of Maths Association at the request of Saya U Sein Shan (GBNF).
One day, Ko Win Zaw (A) reminded me to attend the meeting for the formation of the RIT football association for that year. At the meeting, both Ko Win Zaw (A) and Sai Thein Maung (C) urged me the to be the secretary. The only thing I remember doing as secretary of the RIT football association for our 5th year at RIT was to go around the hostels, asking for donations. RIT had opted to participate in the Insein Township football competition and money was needed to provided transportation for the students to Ywama Stadium from RIT Hostels. Since there was an important game, we had to solicit donations from the students and rented 6 Dodge Jeeps from the Insein-Danyingone Bus Line. After the game, we found that there were only 4 Dodge Jeeps waiting at Ywama Stadium to take us back to RIT. I don’t remember what team RIT played against. I can only recall that RIT lost.
I started two other activities that took me outside RIT. One was to go to the University swimming pool in Kamayut a couple of times a week, with Ko Win Thein (EP) GBNF, Ko Tin Win (EP) and Ko Than Lwin (EP).
Water Polo Match
We also watched RIT play against the Inst. of Medicine 1 in the Water Polo competition. We were loud and boisterous as usual, filling the air with derogatory comments about the Inst. of Medicine. Ko Htein Win (M, nickname Chauk Pe), tended goal for RIT at the shallow end. Ko Win Aung (M) played in the forward position. After RIT scored the first goal, Ko Myo Khin (C, one year senior in 64), jumped into the swimming pool fully clothed. (He was told to get out of the water immediately). But our joy was short lived. At the change of ends after 15 minutes of play, Aung Tun Oo (a) George Htoon Pay (M, 65 intake), took over as deep end goalkeeper for RIT. Inst. of Medicine scored 7 goals against RIT in a space of 15 minutes, Since RIT was losing badly, we stopped yelling bad things about the Inst. of Medicine, but we did not totally shut up. Ko Myo Khin (C) noticed the Saya U Hlaing, the sports- in – charge from the Inst. of Education, was sitting improperly across that pool and his private part was showing. Ko Myo Khin (C) told us to yell “Ha Bac Ko Aing Luu, Ah Htaw Ma Tine, Gor Pwae”. U Hlaing got the message after we had shouted out twice.
Another activity that I undertook was to go to the University Boat club. The RIT Rowing Association had Saya U Thein Dan (C) as President and Ko Aung Lwin (Jasper Wu, C), as the Secretary. Saya U Thein Aung (Mickey Tan, Physics, RASU), took care of most things at the Boat club. We formed a novice crew. Ko La Min (EP) was our cox. I was in the Stroke position, Ko Zaw Win (Ch) was No 2, Ko Yit Moe (C, 65 intake), was No 3 and Ko Than Htun Aung (Ch) was in the Bow position. Ko Aung Lwin guided all of us through the steps at the Boat club. As novices, we were only allowed to row wooden tubs. The only race we won was by default when the other crew did not have enough men to compete in the heats for the annual Regatta. We lost the semi-final race against a team from RASU and did not get the chance to participate on Regatta day.
On Regatta day, George Htoon Pay (M, 65 intake), won the single sculls competition. Ko Aung Lwin (C) and another person won the coxless pairs competition. There was also a female novice crew from RIT. Ma Myint Myint Sein’s (M) younger sister, Aye Aye Than (nickname Pauk Pauk) headed that crew of 66 intake students. We used to travel together from RIT to the Boat Club and back.
Ma Pauk Pauk and her daughter stayed overnight at our house in New York (around 1998) when they came for a visit from England (where they were living). Actually, they visited Washington DC first, and Ma Lei Lei Myaing (T, my wife’s classmate from St John’s convent), brought them to our house when they visited New York city.
Cross Lake Swimming
Going to the RUBC almost daily meant I was around when the 2000 meter cross lake swimming eet was held. About 30 to 40 swimmers from RIT took part. Saya U Hla Myint (Charlie, M65) as President of the RIT Swimming Association, was the organizer and supervisor of the event. Non-participants like us, took to the water in flat bottom paddle boats and rowed on the sides of the swimmers, ready to give aid if needed. I was with Ko Win Thein (EP, GBNF) and another person for the event held in our 5th year. We followed the swimmers to Dubern beach and paddled back.
Cross Lake in Final Year
For the event held in our Final year at RIT, which was won by Ko Wunna Sithu (EC71), I was in the paddle boat with Ko Ye Myint (EP) and Ko Mg Latt (M) both 65 intakes. None of us knew how to steer a paddle boat, but we blushed it off as no big deal. We would somehow make it across the water to Dubern beach. Easier said than done. We found ourselves going around in circles in the middle of Inya lake, listening to the laughter and jeers of the people looking at us from the Boat club. Finally, I asked the other two not to paddle and slowly paddled and guided the boat to Dubern beach. We arrived at Dubern beach after the last swimmer had gone ashore. Luck was with us as there was a person who was taking care of getting the boats back to the other side of the lake and we gladly let him take it.
I remember meeting Daw Tin May, wife of the late Sayagyi U Ba Kyi, nationally well known artist and Saya, as we walked up Dubern beach. She was there since her house was being built there at that time. After Ko Ye Myint introduced me to her, I remember her comment “Thi Par Dae, Ah Chaw Myo Tway Bae”.
A committee was formed at RIT for the publishing of the RIT Magazine. I was in the sub committee led by Saya U Win Kyaing. Our sub committee was assigned to take care of advertisements. Saya U Win Kyaing decided we should ask for advertisements from foreign embassies. I remember going in Saya U Win Kyaing’s car into the North Korean consulate compound and being ushered out quickly.The only embassy interested in putting an advertisement was the West German embassy. We talked to their cultural secretary and he cut out a cheque for 100 Kyats as payment for the advertisement. Saya U Win Kyaing later told us that he had been instructed not to take advertisements from foreign embassies and we had to send the cheque back.
Saya U Tein Kyi asked us to come to his house (on Attia Road) on weekends so that he may give us submitted articles for us to edit. One article I edited was “Sabe Hna Pwint Hta Yan Kar”, which I found to be very well written with a great story line. That article won the best fiction article award.
When the printing started, I had to go to Pazaundaung in the evenings to check on the progress and edit sample runs of the RIT Magazine for errors. We took turns going there, and as far as I can remember, there were always two of us paired to work together. I might have been paired with Ko Kyaw Win Maung (Ch) but I am not certain.
Ko Cho Aye
At the end of our 4th year at RIT, Ko Cho Aye (M, GBNF) and I agreed to submit as room mates for the 5th year. When the 5th year started, we were on the 3rd floor of D block, facing C Block. Even though we were in different disciplines, Electrical for me and Mechanical for Ko Cho Aye, we still had classes in common. Advance Calculus, Industrial Management and Fluid Mechanics were common to both of us. Saya U Tin Htut taught Industrial Management and I still remember the “Critical Path Method” he taught.
For summer training in our 5th year, we went to ESB. Ko Khin Mg Shwe (EP) and Ko Pyi Soe (EP) were with me. We had to accompany the crews that were sent out on calls at first. Later, we were sent to the Ywama Power Station. At the Ywama Power Station, they had a program ready for us, detailing what we should be taught on each day.
After the summer training was over, I went back to Maymyo. Ko Phone Thwin (Mn), showed up in Maymyo as guest of Ko Win Htut (C). Since Ko Win Htut’s parents’ Maymyo house was quite near to mine, I remember spending time in the evenings, sitting on a little bridge over a stream near Ko Win Htut’s house. with Ko Phone Thwin (Mn) and Ko Win Htut (C) .
One evening, while we were sitting there, a man passed by on a bicycle and called out Ko Phone Thwin’s name. I asked Ko Phone Thwin who he was and was told that this person had been with our 64 batch at RIT and left to attend DSA after the first half of the year. Ko Phone Thwin probably remembers who that person was.
Final Exams and After the Finals
The final exams for the 5th year were held earlier than usual, in August. The reason being that efforts were been made to move the start of the school year to June from November.
After the finals, I went back home. Ko Aye Win Hlaing (EP, 65 intake), came to stay with me for a little while. Ko Ye Myint (EP, 65 intake), who was always with me during holidays, could not come anymore since his father, Sayagyi U Ba Toke, had transferred to RIT on his own volition from his previous position as Rector of Mandalay University.