I read a bout U Tayza, a famous Burmese tycoon and arms broker who has lived in Singapore in the Straight time. He got-rich-quick for timber business during military regime before democratic government in Burma.
He had managed clear cut forest scheme so that he could set up airline, bank, mine, hotels and so many business. So many Burmese and the international community believe that he could earn millions of foreign currency from arms brokerage between military regime and Russian government but he didn’t do much for Burmese community if we compare with U Nar Auk, a famous mon timber tycoon during the British occupation.
U Nar Auk was born in Kha Ye village , Kayin State near famous Kaw Kun cave. His parents were very poor and have five children, U Nar Auk is the second last one.
Unfortunately both of his parents died in young age. His elder sister brought him up where he served as a farmer. He worked very hard and industrious that’s why he was the apple of ladies’ eye in the village. He married to his first wife , she was also known as for hard working lady but they lived together only a few years and she passed away.
U Nar Auk was very good man so his farther in law gave his second daughter’s hand but she expired as well. U Nar Auk fed up with the married life as his wives passed away one after another. He left his properties to his sister house and worked under Naing Htaw Are‘s business.
Naing Htaw Are was a successful timber business man. A young widower worked very hard and industrious that’s why he was appointed as supervisor. As he was very honest and faithful to his boss, he could earned more money than others. Later, he set up his own timber business with his money and his boss assistance. He went to Pha-Saung, Kayah state where it was very difficult for transportation. Nobody wanted to start timber business but he risked.
Good luck is on his side, it was raining cats and dogs for weeks in Kayah after cutting the woods which made the easy transportation for U Nar Auk’s wood- rafts came down to Mon State. His company logo was ” Triple Three “.
About five miles long teak wood rafts were parking near Kaw Nat village, all woods had triple three logo.He hit the jack pot. He earned a ton of teak was more than 100 but his expense was only 20 per ton. He also enlarged his business farming. Landing money and shipping to compete with the British and Indian exploiters. His main rival was The Irrawaddy Flotilla shopping company that run more than one thousand ships across Burma in those days.
U Nar Auk sent his nephew Maung Shwe Lay to England and bought nine ships and run in Than Lwin and Gyne rivers. To compete the Irrawaddy flotilla company, he lowered the half price for boat tickets. Later he also gave a shawl for his customers and provided food. He was alone and The Irrawaddy Flotilla company had many share holders. He couldn’t stand when took time and stopped his transportation company.
It was pity when I studied about his biography when I was primary student. He also did great job for his religion and history which is some grand buildings for Kaw Nat monastery. Main building is not his deed but the rest are U Nar Auk’s donation. The architecture are fantastic beyond compare. Majority of Burmese know famous monasteries such Inwa Bargaya, ShweInnbin, Shwe Kyaung in Mandalay, Pa Khan Gyi and Salay Yoke Son monastery but U Nar Auk‘s monastery is the best condition nowadays which is better and than Queen Sein Done monastery near Kyaik Thanlan pagoda in Mawlamyaing.
It’s architecture based on Konebaung period and guilded the gold that is decorated with many wood carvings in and out of the building. The wood carving showed about Bagan period such as King Anaw Rahta sent the troop to china to ask Buddha’s tooth relic from U Tibwa, the king of China.
On the way back to Bagan, King Anaw Rahta built a pagoda in Taung Byone. Anaw Rahta ordered everyone must donate a handful of sand and a brick but his favorite adopted sons Shwe Phyin Gyi and Shwe Phyin lay neglected due to womanizing. Both were executed and transformed the spirits. Another coving is Ma Shwe U was weaving and a tiger bit her. At the prayer hall, two standing Buddha. They were made of single teak wood. All the prayer halls and sima are such as spire with eleven step roof, painted in red and guilded with gold which is so amazing.
The main monastery is very massive looks so grand.It was the merit of Naing Htaw Are, the boss of U Nar Auk. I had a rare chance to visit in this building in 2017. An antique clock was hanging on the pillar in the middle of monastery. Some ancient lamps look like chandeliers were hanging in the main hall. They are very rare now.
The gentlemen who showed me said that we have to take great care of antique hunters. A european architecture building is the opposite of the main monastery. The floral design at the entrance and ceiling are so beautiful. A big Buddha is sitting on the throne. The secret door to the special chamber is just at the back of Buddha image. I saw some tombstones in the room. There were many small wooden buildings in the mango and marian trees.
It is very quiet and peaceful where the monks live. A retired professor from California university gave suggestion to the villagers to protect from white ants because we can’t see a beautiful monastery like this in Burma.
U Nar Auk married to four wives but all died before him. He did great job for his people, country and religion. The villagers are so proud of U Nar Auk and his merit. I also want present timber tycoons in Burma should left their good reputation in history like U Nar Auk.
Better than OthersHarder than Ever.
Thanks for your time.