Sir Edward Youde's sudden death in Beijing on December 5, 1986 was a great shock not only to everyone in Hong Kong, but to the many journalists who were in the capital covering his visit - because they missed the story. Sir Edward was to fly back to Hong Kong early that morning. About 20 Hong Kong reporters, who had been following the governor the week before, had decided to take a break. They had set out for a spot of sightseeing at the Great Wall just as the plane, which Sir Edward would have boarded, took off. They had told their colleagues in Hong Kong to greet the governor at the territory's Kai Tak International Airport. Little did they know Sir Edward was not on the plane. He had died in the middle of the night. An announcement was made, but the group had already left for the Great Wall. Mobile phones and pagers did not exist at the time. While the reporters were enjoying the view from the world's largest man-made structure, telexes flooded the hotel where they were staying- their bosses in Hong Kong were biting their nails waiting for them to appear. It was not until late afternoon, when the group returned to the hotel, that they learned of the tragedy. A long night followed. It was the nadir of their careers - they had missed the most important story of the year. Unfortunately, I was one of them.