Path to 1997

Reflected in pools of water from the incessant downpour, the parade seemed poised, for a moment, on the cusp of history. The page was about to turn with an almost palpable consciousness, among all present, that the colonial tenure was trickling down to its last remaining hours and minutes.

The lasting memory that many would bear away from the final hours of British Hong Kong on that solemn Monday evening, 30 June 1997, was the spectacle of a lone piper, standing in the rain in the middle of what had been HMS Tamar, playing Auld Lang Syne.

Governors (Frederick Lugard, David Wilson, Chris Patten) posed on the steps of Government House.

The Royal Yacht cast off and silently steamed out of the harbour, passing the illuminated Convention Centre where the investiture of officials of the new government was in progress. From the Britannia, Governor Patten's final communique was transmitted to London:

"I have relinquished the administration of this government. God Save The Queen."

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