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292 Section III, X. A BOOK FOR COLONEL BA THAN Reproduced from Maung Maung, “A Book for Colonel Ba Than” in The Guardian VIII, no. 7 (July 1961): 28, by permission of Daw Khin Myint, wife of the late Dr Maung Maung. Colonel Ba Than wrote to me in October, 1960, about the books we wanted to prepare and publish, on the war, the resistance, on Bogyoke Aung San, books that still wait to be written. There is so much creative work to do in Burma, and so few people to do it, and many of the few are on hot pursuits after idle things. It seemed, from his letter, that the books Colonel Ba Than and I wanted to work on together must be left to other hands, for, he wrote, he was relinquishing his commission in the service and devoting himself to the life of a lay missionary in the remote places of Burma where the high political “isms” and the mighty political schisms do not reach, and the peoples are in want for the simple things of a good clean life. Colonel Ba Than wrote then to say that I must keep the matter in utmost confidence, and that when time came he would like to quickly slip away from it all to the new calling. He asked me for books to 03X DrMaung.indd 292 1/24/08 2:32:23 PM Reproduced from Dr Maung Maung: Gentleman, Scholar, Patriot by Robert H. Taylor (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2008). This version was obtained electronically direct from the publisher on condition that copyright is not infringed. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the prior permission of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Individual articles are available at A Book for Colonel Ba Than 293 inspire him in his self-sought loneliness, books to show him the way and give him heart, when he feebled, to go on. Strength to win in great endeavours has always to spring from within oneself. Friends may help, and foes may hinder, but it is one’s inner self that ultimately wins or fails. And loneliness, I suppose, is one of the hardest things to suffer and survive in great endeavours. The politician out of office or in the wilderness, the scientist in some deep quest in his laboratory, the scholar in his research in the library, the missionary in the hills, they all alike must yearn for company, for comfort, for applause, for rewards and recognition; they all alike will win through and accomplish their missions if they can find the strength to overcome the yearning and the loneliness. I have found a book for Colonel Ba Than now, a book he will enjoy reading and occasionally draw inspiration from. It is a new book about Ann Hasseltine Judson, who sailed with her husband, Adoniram Judson, from the far-away shores of America in those early uncertain days to Burma to engage on Christian missionary work. The book is called Golden Boats from Burma, and is written by Gordon Langley Hall, and published by Macrae Smith of Philadelphia. There are many books about Christian missions to Burma or by the missionaries themselves, but this new book about Ann Judson is one of the good books, told simply and sweetly, unburdened with bias or religiosity, the story of a young husband and wife who decided they had to go to Burma and do a piece of good work, and did the job they had set out to do against even greater odds sometimes. Things were a little drastic in those days in Burma, and the Judsons suffered humiliation and hardship often, and later, after they had won the trust and love of the peoples they worked amongst, they received great kindness and high honours, and their work left permanent results in many ways. The book also gives glimpses of the Burmese kingdom where the Judsons served, and though the author has told a story which is enjoyable as such, the historic value of the book is also high. In his acknowledgements, Gordon Langley Hall mentions, among others, Dr Hla Bu and Daw E Tin, and U Tet Htoot whom he worked with in London. The mention of U Tet Htoot reminds me of my meeting with him in London in 1959 when we passed through on our way to the United Nations. There was the usual reception, the usual shaking of 03X DrMaung.indd 293...


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