Mrs. Tun Khin

To all MEHSA browsers:Mrs. Cissy Tun Khin passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on September 13, 1999 at the age of 80 at her home in Rangoon , Burma. She is survived by her beloved husband, sons Stafford, Timothy(Pyone), MinTun(Julie) and 4 grandchildren.

Timothy TunKhin
October 21, 1999

2 replies on “Mrs. Tun Khin”

Mrs. Tun Khin (Daw Saw Shein) landed a job for herself with MEHS after finishing her teacher’s training at TTC (Teachers Training College) which is just opposite the BBS (Burma Broadcasting Service) now called the MBS. She was a high school graduate of St. Philomena’s. For most of her stay with MEHS, she taught maths in the middle school mostly Std. V and occasionally Std. VI. Her students will remember that she was the one who taught them how to use the compass, the set square and the divider.
She used to keep the annual class photos that were taken every year in those days. One of her favourites was the one where a pupil named Alice TunShwe was in her class. This pupil later became a very popular and a leading and academy award winning female actress called WaWa WinShwe.

Like all teachers, hundreds passed through their hands over the years and every student had a particular way of remembering their teachers. One day, as a child, I was with my mother having “shwe yin aye” in Scott Market and one young lady, maybe in her twenties, came up and greeted her. I still remember what she said to this day. She said she was watching my mother from afar thinking that must be Mrs. Tun Khin but she wasn’t sure. So she waited until my mother spoke and that was when her suspicion was confirmed. She said it was my mother’s characteristic dentition that clinched it as her canines overlapped on either side. In Burmese its her “tha det” that was her trademark for this particular lady. But unfortunately, I don’t remember who she was.

As an offspring of a teacher, I was in an unusual position. While I was still in Rangoon, old students of my mother would ask about her and wish her well. Some were very successful and others not so. Mentioning no names, I came across one inebriated old student of my mother and on seeing me he greeted me and tried to be very protective as him being the older person but the funny thing was before we parted he said “Please don’t tell teacher that I’ve had a few drinks”. Hilarious as it was, still I respect him for his innate respect to his teachers and elders despite the condition he was in. No doubt, I told the story to my mother, she had a laugh and said “the naughtier ones seem to remember me more”.

Latterly, the classes became bigger and with it the responsibility too, so about two years after MEHS was nationalised she retired and became a housewife. In 1972, she followed her husband to Manila, Philippines where he got a job with the Asian Development Bank. She took quite an active role with the ADB Women’s Club where she promoted Burmese cuisine and her “ohn no khauk swe” was rather popular among the Burmese community over there.

She also discovered a talent which she thought she never had (and so did I) and that was in art. She made beautiful Batik designs (tapestries mostly and a few to wear) and some incredible oils and water colour paintings. She was already in her 60s by that time.

After about 15 years in Manila, on my father’s retirement, they moved to Fremont, near San Francisco, and stayed there for about 10 years. They enjoyed the closeness of the Burmese community in Fremont and the closeness to their grandchildren. The highlight of their stay was when she had the chance to initiate the entry of her eldest grandson as a novice at a Buddhist monastery where my father also became an “upazin” for the third time.

As the saying “home to roost” goes, I suppose they felt that they should head home even if it was just for a short stay. And as circumstances dictated, they are now rather settled back in Rangoon in the same house after being away for over 25 years.

She is now 80 and a grandmother of 4 and doing a good job of looking after her husband. She is particularly touched by the annual homage paid to old teachers by old students and is ever so grateful for the thoughtfulness and the “ce ta na” shown by the students. She has been saying “Thadu Thadu Thadu” ever since to all those who are involved.

Home address:
17 C, Thalawaddy Road
Yangon, Myanmar
Tel/fax: 00-95-1-660-794
Timothy TunKhin
May 28, 1999

I am so sorry to read that Mrs. Tun Khin passed away on 9/13/1999. She was my Mathematics Teacher for STD VI, MEHS, Yangon, Myanmar.

I remember, ‘preparing for class’, doing my ‘homework’ and studying for my ‘examinations’. I like my Mathematics classes because the questions (homework and examinations) and answers are so ‘precise’.

I remember that Mrs. Tun Khin has a very good sense of humor. Some of the students that she joked with included ‘Tun Kyaw Nyein, Micheal Ohn Myint and Edgar Aung Than’.

I learnt to ‘exercise’ my ‘eyes’ for having to study long hours, from Mrs. Tun Khin. To-date, I still take a few moments each day to ‘exercise’ my ‘eyes’.

From 1976 to 1977, I majored in Computer Sciences at The University Of Houston, TX. USA. GPA 4/4 = A. In the year 2004, I am studying ‘Information Technology’ at The University Of Maryland Baltimore, MD. USA.

I want to say, “THANKS!!!”. for supporting me as ‘Head Of The Class’ STD I to STD X MEHS.

My BEST wishes to Mrs. Tun Khin’s Family.

Lois Jane ‘Terex’ Lee (a)
Myint Myint Yee (a)
Lee Wren Ahar Ngwee Chin
February 22, 2004

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