1871 - 1955
Sir Joseph Augustus Maung Gyi
Sir Joseph Augustus Maung Gyi (1871-1955) was the only Burmese ever to serve as Governor of Burma. In 1930, he was appointed (Acting) Governor of Burma by the then Viceroy, the Earl of Halifax. Made acting governor during the tenure of Sir Charles Innes, who was away in the UK for several months on sick leave, he has the misfortune of being governor during the outbreak of the Saya San rebellion (1930-1932).
Born in Moulmein, Sir Joseph was an ethnic Mon by descent. He became an Oxford-educated barrister and leading political figure in the 1920s and 1930s: a Minister and later Home Member in the dyarchy government, a judge of the High Court, and the leader of the conservative Independent Party (informally dubbed the"Golden Valley Party" as all its leaders lived in Golden Valley, Rangoon). The Independent Party contested elections in 1922, 1925, 1928, 1932, and 1936. In the early 1930s, the party supported the separation of Burma from India and never enjoyed the popularity of the more nationalist parties led by U Ba Pe, U Chit Hlaing, and others.
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