Yangon TimeTime Yangon
Ancient and new photos of the town and the tales they tell. Updated on a regular basis.
On the southeast edge of Mahabandoola Garden on Merchant Road is the Myanma Foreign Trade Hotel. It used to be the HSBC Banka Rangoon office and before that a Roman Catholicship. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was rebuilt to adapt the structure to its new profane role: the tower was taken out, together with most of the decorations - especially the ornamental masonry around the sashes.
The first was Lord Randolph Churchill's woman, the man who led to the end of Burma's sovereignty. Throughout his 1939 Rangoon story, B. R. Pearn took the two above mentioned photos as before and after, so that thanks to his forethought we have our first series of three pictures.
Fortunately the street has not quite reached the standard of the colorful Gorum Towers, so that at least the commuter legon on their way to and from the town can expect something. When it rained heavily, forces marched through the town, flying United Kingdom, US, Burmese and other Allies banners.
The panel included Lord Louis Mountbatten, then Commander-in-Chief of the Allies for Southeast Asia. Nominated after the Chief Commissioner of Burma, Fytche Square was a final extension of Rangoon's designs. Like in many large towns around the globe, accessing a stream was the driving force behind Yangon's economical growth.
The Strand Road, which runs along this stream, was the scene of several important constructions during this period - although many were also destroyed by the earthquake and damages from the Second World War. We will visit three such buildings: the Imperial Bank of India, which has survived to this date, the old post office and Trinity Church, both of which have vanished in the last hundred years.
It was the third reincarnation of the Rowe and Co. in Rangoon, finished in 1910. It was a miracle of modernity, with a metal framework, roof ventilators and a cellar - a speciality in view of the town' s marshy underpinnings. The Churchill Road was originally called after Lord Randolph Churchill, UK political figure and founder of Winston Churchill.
During his brief term as Secretary of State for India, Churchill led the definitive intrusion of the then Burmese state. Undersecretary of State for seven month, he then became Chancellor of the Exchequer (the UK Treasury Secretary equivalent) at the age of only 37 years before he ended his carreer by making misguided policy assessments.
Like the story this weeks about Scott's square, as the square is now called after Bogyoke Aung San, its inner roads are called after the Aung San Thuriya Award winner - the highest honor of Myanmar's army, which in turn was called after Aung San. It is the equivalence of the Victoria Cross in Great Britain or the honorary seal in the USA.
To find out more about the award and its winner, click here or on the top picture with an animated card of the fair.