Planners have history of ignoring campaigners over pier

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 July, 2009, 12:00am

The Tsim Sha Tsui ferry pier has been the scene of a preservation battle before.

In the late 1970s, the Heritage Society petitioned Queen Elizabeth to save the old Kowloon Canton Railway building. The petitioners believed it held a place in people's lives and was part of their history and culture.

They wrote to the governor, Sir Murray MacLehose, on July 29, 1977. The society charged that the government failed to give a 'fair and proper' hearing to those who wanted to preserve the KCR building.

To back up their case, the society sent the queen background material and a copy of a petition with 15,000 signatures.

However, their appeal failed and the station was demolished. Only the clock tower was retained.

A 55-year-old woman working at a newsstand at the ferry bus terminal has seen all the changes.

'I have been here since I was in my mother's womb,' Ms Fung said.

'My mum got a newspaper-stall licence, which cost HK$1, from the South China Morning Post, 70 years ago. We kept on running this newspaper stall.

'I don't understand why the government wants to change this place to a piazza without meaning. It is just a disruption to the people.'

According to the Tourism Commission, the majority of views collected support the development of the piazza.