Farewell to Hong Kong’s Star Ferry Pier

riding past the new star ferry pier in Central
riding past the new star ferry pier in Central

Hong Kong’s Star Ferry Pier in the Central has serviced Hong Kong for 48 years and sadly, was closed yesterday for demolition to make way for reclamation and re-development, a fate that so many other sites of heritage and historial interest in the territory have been dealt. Thousands of people emerged yesterday to use the cameras/camcorders to record the last day of the ferry using the old pier. I was one of them, spurred by my fond memories of the pier and a deep sense of loss. This pier is about 20 minute bus from where I live and I used to take the star ferry from Central to Tsim Sha Tsui, so as to take in the spectacular harbour view and get some rest during the short boat ride.

star ferry pier in central, the old one
star ferry pier in central, the old one

The pier has become part of my memory about the city, my growing up and my life. It is no doubt also part of the collective memory, testified by the big crowd which turned up to memorize the loss. Hong Kong’s home affairs secretary Ho Chi Ping said those against the demolition of the star ferry are abusing the collective memory. I hope he did come in person to the ferry pier yesterday and see by himself how collective that memory is.

protest
protest

When the city loses its collective memory, what is left is stronger sense of isolation and alieniation among its citizens. At the same time, Hong Kong is also losing its uniqueness and charms in its quest to modernize itself to become “Asia’s World City” by demolishing sites of heritage and burying its past.

6 Replies to “Farewell to Hong Kong’s Star Ferry Pier”

  1. but you may not know that some poeple in hong kong blamed those protesting for making troubles. well, i do understand the comparision you made between hk and singapore.

    Happy New Year!

  2. Er, Singapore has much to learn from HK. The same thing has happened in Singapore, old buildings torn down only to be regretted, remaining shophouses gentrified and painted over in ghastly psychedelic colours..and now, we are thinking of renaming our roads…

    I just returned from a trip to HK and I was overwhelmed by the protest/mourning site at Central StarFerry Pier. This will be something I will never get to see in Singapore. There’s no such thing as “protest” in Sg if the world doesnt already know. I admire the spirit of the HK people who came out in support of the pier and to me, the site was the best thing, or rather, the real deal to what many call installation art. It was, and is, art effusing from life and vice-versa.

    They can take the monuments, but don’t let the collective spirit be abolished.

    Happy New year : )

  3. In Hong Kong, we not only tear down old buildings and sites, also cut down old trees, just to make way for high rise buildings or shopping malls, to benefit those super rich. There is so much Hong Kong can learn from Singapore.

  4. Thank you for highlighting the Star Ferry’s lost. You are right. It is so easy to demolish old site and along with it there is a hugh price the people pay—more meaninglessness and isolation. I share your feeling. I have never been to HK. Hope I would have a chance one day. We all need history to connect ourselves with one another and then we find meaning to move to the future together. Singapore where I l live made the same mistake in the past. We realise it and we hope to do better in this area. We try to improve without destroying. We even try to save old trees whenever possible.

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