ONE of Hong Kong's more enlightened governors, Sir Frederick Lugard, proposed that Hong Kong should have a university. Although the British Colonial Office referred to the project as 'Lugard's pet lamb', it was Sir Frederick's wife, Flora Shaw Lugard, who was the driving force behind the enterprise. Before she married Sir Frederick, at the age of 50, Flora Shaw had headed the foreign and colonial desk of The Times newspaper. Shaw, Dr Starr Jameson and Cecil Rhodes were the principal conspirators behind the 'Jameson raid'. In 1895 Dr Jameson, with 600 men, invaded the Transvaal in a forlorn attempt to start a revolution to overthrow the Kruger government. War between Britain and Transvaal was only averted by the brilliant diplomacy of Sir Hercules Robinson, a former governor of Hong Kong. Shaw was lucky not to be arrested; Jameson went to jail; Sir Hercules was made a peer of the realm and Kruger had a gold coin named after him. Thanks to Sir Hercules, the second Boer War didn't happen for another four years. But to build a university you need money and Shaw managed to persuade a rich parsee merchant, H N Mody, to provide most of the cash. Apart from Mody, who was given a knighthood, the response from the private sector was rather disappointing. The imperial Manchu government was at first opposed to the project. This was because that dangerous revolutionary, Dr Sun Yat-sen, had been educated at the Hong Kong College of Medicine, which was to be incorporated into the new university. They were finally persuaded to contribute GBP25,000. On March 16, 1910, Sir Frederick laid the foundation stone. In his speech, he emphasised that revolutionary ideas would not be tolerated in the new university. Whether he succeeded in calming the fears of the Manchu mandarins is unlikely. A few months later Dr Sun's revolutionaries overthrew the Manchu emperor and founded the Republic of China.