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Geologists' Stories

Paying homage to our revered teachers

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I would like to tell everyone about one of our sayas, Saya U Thane Hlyne. As you can see from the previous message, he was Ko Myint Hlaing's father.

Saya U Thane Hlyne was my teacher and taught us structure and survey, and on my second year field trip to Aung Ban, he taught us how to map the terrain (among all those pine trees and limestone outcrops) with survey instruments. I was one of Saya U Thane Hlyne's favourite students. He used to call me "Shan Ma." We used to go and eat at his house when he was living in Yamanya Hall (yes, back then Yamanya Hall was a residential place - Ko Myint Hlaing's mother, Ma Ma Nge will know me.)

On our general traverses, when we had to walk more than 20 miles a day uphill and downhill, Saya used to test me by asking me to carry big rock samples, sometimes even bigger than what he gave the boys. He would often throw me those rock samples, saying "Yaw, Shan Ma, Hpan!" (here, catch!).
I often tell my own students that Saya U Thane Hlyne gave me such good training that it's made me really tough!

When he died in 1987, falling off the Mandalay night train, I was in Kin-Tar Hse area, on an field trip with my M.Sc. students Khin Sanda, Ko Htin Kyaw, Cho Cho Oo and friends. Later, when I went to see Saya U Thane Hlyne's wife, she told me that Saya had talked a lot about all of us geology students, including me, just before he took that fatal train to Mandalay.

I am the same batch with U Khaing Shin and one class younger than U Win Naing. I was in Cambridge University doing my Ph.D. when Saya U Thane Hlyne was studying in London University, Imperial College.

Dr. Yin Yin Nwe, 
UNICEF Representative to China







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