We pass by many people and things, every day, without noticing their importance to us. In most cases, we only start caring about them when they are about to disappear. The Star Ferry's clock tower is one example of this. I did not feel anything special about this small building in the past, even though I took the ferry often. But, six months ago, some of my uncles told me the tower's fascinating history. Then I started doing some research, and interviewed a Star Ferry official for my environmental group. Only then did I begin to understand its architectural beauty. The clock was manufactured by the same British company that made the clock in London's Big Ben tower. The tower's colours, green and white, represented sea water and the land, and its windows were designed facing Hong Kong Island's ridgeline. Two colleagues and I in the See Network group thought something had to be done to save this little building from demolition. We organised a signature campaign and wrote a brief press release to the media. The results were way above our expectations: we collected 8,000 signatures in a month, and nearly all the media reported our drive. People in this city clearly feel the same way about this issue that we do, and many have started coming forward to help us make this campaign grow. The government has underestimated people's reactions to the tower demolition, but that's natural. We also understand that it's difficult for officials to change the way things are done, since there are so many restrictions on what they can do. But this tower has to be kept where it is now: otherwise, the government will be remembered and blamed for failing to save this importance piece of heritage, for generations to come. We have lost so many key historic monuments, such as Lee Theatre in Causeway Bay and the old post office in Central. We just cannot afford to lose more. The government has proposed to move the tower to somewhere else in Central, as an alternative, but that is not an option. It is meaningless to just keep the architecture without conserving the heritage. The most important thing about conservation is to keep the knowledge. We will lose our heritage knowledge about the clock tower if it is moved somewhere else. This campaign, so far, has been very successful and different from other social movements. There has been no big march, demonstration or even a leader to mobilise the public. But even so, thousands of people were drawn to the Star Ferry pier in Central, last month, to mark its final day of operation. People took action simultaneously to express their feelings. They climbed the building and rang the bell, beamed the words 'Save Me' on the clock tower, dressed in clock-tower suits and made chalk drawings on the pavement. Some of us have also sent flower wreaths to the tower to mourn its imminent death. These actions were peaceful, but sent some loud and clear messages. People have learned a lot from this campaign. It has helped many young people start to understand their relationship with the city's history and culture. The clock tower pulled them together, to discuss the importance of heritage conservation through internet chat rooms and e-mails. I reckon we have achieved some real democracy here, as people are united on a common subject and have expressed a clear message without being influenced by political debates. At last, I can see that there is still hope for the future of this city. Patsy Cheng Man-wah is the director of the sustainable-development concern group See Network.