Lugard in Hong Kong
Empires, Education and a Governor at Work 1907-1912
Publication Year: 1992
Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU
Table of Contents
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The late Ernest Winkler, my Swiss friend, made a generous donation to the University in July 1977. Part of this was to support the publishing of this study and to celebrate the particular interest in local history of his wife, Marie-Louise. The whole donation was, he said at the time, 'a token of return for what Hong Kong has afforded me in the way of a full and satisfying personal and business life.' A public expression of my deepest gratitude to him and to his wife is long overdue....
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Sir Frederick Lugard, one of Britain's most distinguished builders of paternal Empire, was serving in Hong Kong as its Governor and Commander of British Forces at a time when the Chinese Empire, confronted with the growing strength of revolutionaries conspiring to topple the Manchu Dynasty and replace it with a Republic, was in its death throes. High on the revolutionary agenda was the extensive reform of education, to be organized round the western science syllabus....
Prologue: Tendencies and Forces
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In the October 1910 issue of the Journal The Nineteenth Century and After, Sir Fredenck Lugard published an article he had composed during his absence from Hong Kong on mid-term leave, while relieved of the immediate worries of office. It is as much an account of the 'tendencies and forces', as he called the considerations which shaped the public business of the colony generally at the time, as it is of its partlcular subject, 'The Hong Kong University'. The founding of the Umversity was his most satisfying achievement...
1. The Lugards
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The son of missionaries in India, Frederick Lugard enjoyed a stable, enlightened early life. He developed ambition, firm moral principles within a framework of agnosticism, and the abiding belief that serving the Empire was the sole destiny possible to him. His service during the first half of his working life was that of a soldier in Africa, employed first by the British East Africa Company, and then in West Africa by the Royal Niger Company, a chartered company in which his civil connection was with the...
2. Big Subjects and Solemn Things
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The Lugards travelled out in the summer of 1907 across Canada to Vancouver, where they embarked for Japan, to spend a few days of peaceful preparation before leaving on the last leg for Hong Kong. The voyage enchamed Flora, with the excitement of a long journey in the company of her husband, the promise of new experiences together, and a long-sought finish to their separations. The alarm he felt, however...
3. Great Talk of Reforms
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While Lugard was on his way out to Hong Kong, Sir Charles Eliot, who five years later would take up office as founding Vice-Chancellor of Lugard's new university, was touring China. In his Letters from the Far East (1907), he made observations on the new learning and the reform of education. 'There is great talk in China at present of reforms', he noted, and continued:...
4. Universities in the Air
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'The proof of China's desire for Western knowledge', said Lugard, 'is found in the increasing number of young men who leave their homes to study in Europe, America, and Japan, and in the increasing number of institutions based on Western models which are springing up in China itself.' And Eliot noted that an interesting feature in the educational movement was that about 13,000 Chinese students...
5. Hong Kong Education
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During the five years of Lugard's administration, the population of Hong Kong rose from about 355,000 to about 485,000. Less than 12 percent were children aged from 5 to 15, and of these one in nine attended the classes of the seventy government and grant-aided schools; private Chinese institutions, mostly of low standard, accounted for the rest of those who were at school.1 Most of the local Chinese population...
6. Anxious to Succeed
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Among Lugard's duties was the occasional distribution of prizes in the schools, for which he was at particular pains to prepare good and relevant speeches, and at which he sometimes acted as Flora's stand-in when she was too ill to take part. Flora had recovered sufficiently by 17 January to sit at his side that morning in 1908 during the first of these ceremonies at Sr Stephen's College, when he and the newly...
7. The General Objects in View
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The members of the General Committee assembled at Government House on 29 October for a second meeting. The report of Chater's sub-committee was before them and Lugard spoke at length on the mam question raised in it: if it would be practicable to embark on the enterprise within the means expected to be available for it. He found it all so absorbing. 'I have never before in my life had anything to do with education', he wrote to Edward later, 'and as a new subject it interests me...
8. An Unfortunate Incident on a Boat
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The day before its third meeting, May offered the Committee some eighteen new resolutions broadly based on those presented by Lugard at the second meeting, with notes on each. He explained that there were four parties to be considered: Mody, the College of Medicine, subscribers to the endowment fund, and the government representing the taxpayers. His resolutions were designed to set out categorically the proposals as they touched the interests of each. He believed an adequate endowment...
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New Year's Day also carried the Fatshan affair to a violent crisis. The ferry was in, tied up at the company's wharf at Canton with a head of steam, waiting for passengers to board. It had been no hard task to organize a demonstration at the wharfside; the pier was the property of an unwanted foreigner; the Cantonese were quarrelsome, the weather was dry and cool; the wharves teemed with life, with men ready to welcome any chance to relieve the daily tedium: longshoremen pulling trucks and trolleys,...
10. No Pernicious Doctrines
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Taotai Wu Kwang-yen called on Fox with an oral message for Lugard from the Viceroy, who was gratified that Lugard, alive to the danger of students in a university acquiring revolutionary ideas, would see to it that 'no pernicious doctrines were encouraged or tolerated' among them. He had chanced to notice, however, the names of two men, Kwan Sum-yin and Chan Siu-pak, among the members of the subcommittee, both reputed to be active participants in the revolutionary propaganda led by...
11. Materialism and Morality
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LUGARD: Some little time ago an article appeared in the North China Daily News in which it was srated that, by the courtesy of Lord William Cecil, the editor was able to publish the broad outlines of the scheme for a university of which he is a prominent advocate. The article contains a fair summary of a pamphlet marked 'Draft scheme....
12. Private Munificence and Public Spirit
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Scott was back in London soon after the China Association's annual meeting. In his talks with Lugard as he passed through Hong Kong on the way home, it was suggested that a home committee should be formed. Scott's account of an earlier experience, however, discouraged Lugard. 'A Similar committee (I forget for what purpose) had failed miserably. He was then asked to take it in hand and collected (I think double) the...
13. Let All Tremble and Obey!
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The disorder created by the incident on board the Fatshan, Lugard believed, was now over. His impression was that Swire's had at last settled on compensation for the family of the dead man 'with the concurrence and cooperation of the Consul, and that the Boycott, whether of Messrs Butterfield and Swire or of Japan was rapidly being forgotten, and trade assuming its normal course.' Even Law believed his troubles had...
14. The Ordeal
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Progress was made in the plannmg of the university buildings. 'Protracted discussions and revisions' took place m several meetmgs between the sub-committee and Mody's supervising architect, Bryer; Lugard looked over the plans with Bryer and May 'with a view to securing every possible foot of space for further extensions in the future', and Mody offered his final agreement to them. Lugard worked tirelessly and to what appears...
15. The Ordinance and a Petition
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Lugard thought the ceremony had gone off very well indeed. His speech had been delivered without notes 'before an immense audience' of nearly two thousand dignitaries. 'I did my best', he considered. The ordeal over, he relaxed at Government House and wrote all about it to Flora, sending her a copy of the speeches. 'You will like dear old Mody's reference to you,' he said, 'he almost worships you, dear old man...
16. First in the Field
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The Court and Council were constituted and started regular meetings when Lugard had signed the first version of the University Ordinance. Their first meetings were held half an hour apart on the same afternoon at the end of April 1911. Some appointments were made: the members of a Finance Committee; solicitors, bankers, surveyors, and a corresponding committee in England composed of Sir Thomas Jackson, the...
17. Pathephone, the Scenic Railway, and Home
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The opening took place just after lunch in good weather on 11 March 1912, after a weekend of furious, last-minute flurry. The local press spoke of the event as 'one in which the entire community and in which many in the neighbouring country have taken the deepest interest, an interest which was manifested not only by the large representation of the European and Chinese residents at the ceremony itself, but by the thousands...
Epilogue: Universities of the Empire
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Plans for a congress of all the universities of the empire had been laid at the instigation of the University of London in 1909. The first of the assemblies, which were to be among the most enduring features of the Commonwealth, was held there in July 1912. The delegates arranged for a central bureau of information to be set up in London and for further congresses, convened at intervals of five years, to take place within...
Notes to Chapters
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Page Count: 232
Publication Year: 1992