In 1922 Rupert Kneese introduced Scouting at the College and in 1929 the troop was well-established and inspected by the Sawbwa of Mongmit, then ruler of one of the Burmese states. There is a framed photo graph of the occasion in Paul’s Court clearly showing the Sawbwa shaking hands with Neese with the Sawbwa’s son, Sao Hkun Hkio (OF 1927-30) in attendance. Sao went on to be the Foreign Minister in Burma from 1948 to March 1962 when the army took over. He was the Head of Shan States as well as being Mongmit Sawbwa, Deputy Prime Minister on occasions. Shans are the largest ethnic group in Burma, and reside mainly on the Shan Plateau E/NE/ Burma.
Sao’s son , David Hkio (R58-63) is also an OF and visited the College with his wife, Elizabeth on 22nd February 2018 and was delighted to find his photo on the May 1959 school photograph in the corridor and also to see the picture of his father and grandfather prominently displayed in Paul’s Court. David remembers his time at the College with his brother Philip (R60-65) with some fondness and especially recalls running the butterfly and moth displays in the Chapel museum; cross country runs to Saxtead Mill and those long marches with the cadets to Tunstall Forest. His only regret was not being able to see his father’s Burmese sword, a Shan Dah that was donated to the College many years ago.
A friend of the family, Sanda Simms has recently written a book called “Great Lords of the Sky : Burma’s Shan Aristocracy”.