Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Diocesan Boys' School

Diocesan Boys' School is a boys' school located at 131 , Mongkok, Kowloon, Hong Kong. It was founded in 1869, making it one of the oldest secondary schools in Hong Kong.

The school aims to provide a "liberal education based on Christian principles"; its students are encouraged to be well rounded. The school has many distinguished alumni, who are leaders in Hong Kong society. School teams participate in various inter-school music and sports competitions, and has of late won HKSMSA awards.

In 2004, a primary school division of was opened on the school campus.


The first foundation

In 1860, Lady L. Smith, the wife of the first Bishop of Victoria and the Society for the Promotion of Female Education in the Far East established a girls' school affiliated with the Diocese of the . It was given the name ''"Diocesan Native Female Training School"'' , and Lady Robinson, the wife of the Governor, became the patroness. According to the constitution, it aimed "to introduce the blessing of religious teaching among …native females". The Committee started the school on Bonham Road, with a small concrete house on a paddy field. It accommodated teaching, boarding and all the activities.

The school was soon reopened and renamed ''"Diocesan Female School"'' , but its financial situation was by no means improved. In addition, most Chinese people did not wish their daughters to have a Western-style education at the time. In 1868, the second Bishop of Victoria, Bishop R. Alford, took the school under his immediate superintendence. This marks the end of the First Foundation.

The second foundation

19th century

On 30 January 1869, Bishop Alford issued an Appeal which met with a liberal response soon. Under a new constitution, the ''"Diocesan Home and Orphanage"'' , for English, Eurasian, Chinese and other pupils, was begun on the same site in September. The objects of the Institution were to receive Children of both sexes, sound both in body and mind and as may be deemed eligible by the Committee, as soon as they become capable of education; and to board, clothe and instruct them with a view to industrial life and the Christian Faith according to the teaching of the Church of England.

In July 1870, Mr. W. M. B. Arthur of the Garrison School was appointed as the Headmaster, and Mrs. Arthur as the Matron. On 1 November, Mr. G. H. Piercy, the third master of the , was appointed as the Headmaster. Mr. Piercy focused on the academic education of the students, and the School gained satisfactory results in the and Local Examination scholarships.

In 1891, the School changed its name to ''"Diocesan School and Orphanage"'' , commemorating the erection of a new wing. All the girls left as Fairlea Girls’ School , under the superintendence of Miss Johnstone, was opened to them in 1892. For the first time DSO became a boys’ school. In 1899, the Diocesan Girls’ School was founded in Rose Villas on Bonham Road, Ms. Hawker being the Head Teacher.

Early 20th century

In 1902, the School changed its name to ''"Diocesan Boys’ School and Orphanage"'' . Rev. W. T. Featherstone, Headmaster from 1917 to 1930, introduced the prefects' system, a house system and Speech Day. He also proposed moving the School from Bonham Road to a green field site in Mong Kok. Construction of the school was completed in 1926. But soon in February 1927, the British military authorities took the School as a hospital for one year.

broke out in China following the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in 1937, and at once, DBS showed its support towards the Chinese Nationalist Party. In January 1938, a Shoe-shining Club was organized under the permission of Rev. Christopher Sargent to raise funds for the Nationalist Government. Boys went to schools around Hong Kong, polishing shoes for both teachers and students. In 1939, it even led to a School strike when a student of citizenship was appointed as Head Prefect.

The School was occupied by the Japanese in 1941 along with the rest of Hong Kong. Most of the personnel at the school, including Mr. G. A. Goodban, then-Headmaster, were put into prison. The building itself was transformed into a military hospital to serve the Japanese soldiers.

Post-War Years

Imperial Japan surrendered in August 1945, putting an end to World War II. The School was still under the control of ''Kempi Tai'' until November, when all the Japanese soldiers were captured. On 21 March 1946, J. L. Youngsaye, a senior teacher, took over the School which had been vacated, after it was inspected by the army commander. Oswald Cheung and Mr. B. J. Monks took up the post of acting Headmaster successively. Mr. Goodban arrived from England on 19 November 1947. Repairs started during the Christmas holidays. The new House system, named after the former Headmasters, was introduced in 1949 together with the Piercy Challenge Shield. In the , great construction plans including a gymnasium, a Carnegie Hall and a science wing were proposed.

In 1955, Goodban announced his resignation while Canon George Zimmern was appointed the next Headmaster, the first Hong Kong-born old boy to become so. As Headmaster, Canon She brought about many innovations: firstly, he opened the School gates wide to pupils from lower socioeconomic backgrounds; secondly, he de-colonialised DBS by affirming Chinese in the School's culture. Canon She also introduced the Garden Fête in 1955.

Academically, there was a proposal to drop the primary classes due to shortage of space. Although it was decided that a completely new Diocesan Preparatory School was to be built, it was not until 1969 that the resolution was affirmed.

The School became a major force in athletics when James Lowcock was appointed Headmaster in 1961. With his previous experience in DBS, he structured the administration to improve efficiency and more teachers were appointed to posts with designated responsibilities.

In 1983, Lowcock resigned due to ill health, and was succeeded by Jacland Lai, a senior teacher at the School. Under the new Headmaster's efforts, the standard of non-academic endeavours of students were greatly improved, and a number of competition prizes were brought back to the school as a result. In addition, a language laboratory and a demonstration room were built. The electrics and alarm installations were renovated, the School walls repainted, and computerization was performed throughout the School.

Lai retired in August 2000, and Terence Chang, an old boy and then-headmaster at the Jockey Club Ti-I College, took over the reins in September 2000.

After a 35 year hiatus, it was decided to found and built a primary school on the School campus. The primary school, known as the Diocesan Boys' School Primary Division had its first intake of students in 2004. It further expanded its intake with students aged between 6 and 12 in 2005.

After the 2007-2008 academic year, the school board replaced the operations of the school's tuck shop with a well-known fast food chain: Cafe de Coral. Ending the history of the family operations which spanned two generations, which lasted for 26 years.

Including the Primary Division, Diocesan Girls' School, and the Diocesan Preparatory School, the total number of "Diocesan" students exceeds 4300.

Headmasters and Houses

Roster of Headmasters

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! width=50% | Name
! width=20% | Name in Chinese
! width=30% | Tenure
| 1.
| 雅瑟
| 2.
| 俾士
| 3.
| 費瑟士東
| H. du T. PYNER
| 派�br />


In 1922, Rev. Featherstone introduced the Club system to the School for sports and drama competitions. All the students were divided among four Clubs, i.e. the Green, the Blue, the Yellow and the Brown. As the number of students kept increasing in 1930’s, Rev. Sargent added the Red Club. Three past Headmasters, Piercy, Sargent and Featherstone passed away successively during the years of the Pacific War. In order to commemorate them, Goodban decided to establish a new House system in 1949. The existing five Clubs were re-designated "Houses" and named after four past Headmasters and the beloved Mr. H. Sykes, who was the Second Master from 1898 to 1920.

In 1960, Canon She founded the new Goodban House to commemorate his predecessor. Lowcock House was added in 2002. The Houses, abbreviations and representative colours are as per the inset.

In 2004, the alumni of class of '58 managed a fund-raising for the establishment of a new House and the Chapel renovation in memory of the late Canon George She . However, the Zimmern House project remains under discussion.

School Badge

The School badge are composed of seven elements: the ''Mitre'', the '''', the ''Crozier'', the '''', the ''Bible'', the '''' and the ''Shield'', all of which have deep meaning in the Christian faith.

The mitre is the traditional headgear worn by bishops. As a symbol, its meaning is twofold. It shows that the Anglican Church is an episcopal church, a church guided by bishops. It also underlines the fact that the Anglican Church has inherited the faith of the Apostles.

Placed above the Bible, the crown is the symbol of the kingship of Christ. It indicates that the Church works in the world in obedience to Christ and to the glory of God.

The crozier is a symbol of the pastoral responsibility which the Church bears for the world. It is also known as the pastoral staff. It reminds the Church of its humble identity as servant.

The key is the symbol of authority which the Church receives from Christ.

The book placed in the middle of the shield is the Bible, which is a record of the self-disclosure of God in history - the history of the people of Israel in the Old Testament period and the life of Jesus Christ. The doctrine, discipline and worship of the Anglican Church is based on the Bible and must be in accordance with its teaching.

Placed beneath the Bible, the shell is used to symbolise Baptism. It underlines the evangelistic mission of the Church which is to preach the Gospel, to draw people to Christ and to baptise them.

The shape of a shield signifies the defending of Christian faith in the temporal world.



1. Main Building

2. Gymnasium

3. New Wing

4. New New Wing

5. Mrs. Tsai Ming Sang Building

6. Samuel Tak Lee Building

7. IB Complex


The school uses as the medium of instruction.

Currently, both the Primary and Secondary Division follow the Hong Kong Examination Authority's curriculum. Students in Form 3 or above take two public examinations, the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination and the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination . Students currently studying in Grade 8 or below will fall into the New Secondary System and will take the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education examinations.

The school is planning to launch International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in the school year 2009-10. A new building was built for the IB programme, and a concrete decision on whether girls will be included has not yet been made.

Extra-curricular activities


There are various sports played inside the School, and the school teams are very strong competitors among Hong Kong schools. They had been crowned Overall Champions in Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Cross Country, Fencing, Hockey, Life Saving, Softball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis and Volleyball .

The School's Athletics, Life Saving, Swimming and Tennis Teams are the most distinguished among others. They have each won more than half of the available Overall Championships in their discipline:
*Athletics - 31 in 46 years, 9 Grand Slams
*Swimming - 23 in 42 years, 5 Grand Slams
*Tennis - 30 in 55 years
*Life Saving - Overall Champion ever since 92, Grand Slam ever since 95

Recently, the School has won the Inter-School Swimming Championships for a record 15 consecutive years, and the Inter-School Athletics Championships for 5 years in a row. She has also won all the Inter-School Tennis matches in the past 8 years. In March 2003, the school football team won the Jing Ying Football Championship as a Division Three team which was unprecedented. In November 2007, DBS won its first Division One football A grade championship.


Notable Prizes:

* Captured the Championship of Senior String Orchestra and Senior Orchestra in the 60th Hong Kong Schools Music Festival
* Captured the Championship of the Chinese Orchestra in the 60th Hong Kong Schools Music Festival .
* Captured the Championships of the Senior String Orchestra, Senior School Orchestra and Senior School Band in the 59th Hong Kong Schools Music Festival , thus winning the Instrumental Treble.
* Captured the Championship of Woodwind Ensemble ever since the 58th Hong Kong Schools Music Festival .

* The school choir was invited to perform in Aida together with Warren Mok, a world-renowned Hong Kong tenor, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Hong Kong Chorus and students from .
* The Senior Mixed Choir of Diocesan Boys' School together with Diocesan Girls' School captured the "Best Mixed Choir of the Year" and the "Best Secondary School Choir of the Year" awards in the 60th Hong Kong Schools Music Festival.
* The school senior choir was invited to perform in the Inaugural Ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games 2008 Torch Relay in Hong Kong.

The Diocesan Boys' School Senior Choir, is one of Hong Kong's leading youth male choirs. Its conductor is Mr. Ronnie Cheng. It is a regular participant at the annual Hong Kong Schools Music Festival in categories U4 and U13 . Since the turn of the century, the choir also took part in a number of international choral competitions on a regular basis.

* Awarded 1st Runner-up in the Youth Male Choir category at the 2nd Choir Olympics, 2002 in Busan, Korea.
* Awarded 1st Runner-up in the Male and Youth Choir category at the 59th , 2005, in Llangollen, Wales.
* Awarded the Championship and the Gold Medal for the category "Young Male Voice" at the World Choir Games , 2006 in Xiamen, China.
* Awarded the Championship, the Gold Diploma, the Special Prize for Interpretation and the Conductor Prize for the category "Youth Choirs of Equal Voices" in the 5th International Johannes Brahms Choir Festival & Competition, 2007 in Wernigerode, Germany.
* Awarded the "Best Secondary School Choir of the Year" in the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival for 3 consecutive years during 2003-2005.
* Awarded the "Best Boys Choir of the Year" in the 60th Hong Kong Schools Music Festival for the 6th consecutive year since 2003.
* Awarded the Championship and the Gold Medal for the category "Young Male Voice" at the World Choir Games , 2008 in Graz, Austria.
* According to the Musica Mundi World Ranking List, the Senior Choir is ranked 6th in the Children's and Youth Choirs category, and 36th overall in the world.


The Scout troop of the school, 6th Kowloon, has stood unchallenged in competition in their own Kowloon Tong district for 15 years now. One of its most notable accomplishments was capturing "the Carlton Trophy" - the Colony Championship for Scouting Competition in Hong Kong in 1973. This capture is still an unbroken record for any Kowloon-based scout troop since 1955.

DBS also participates a lot in other competitions, such as art, writing, outstanding students selection, speech festival, drama and business.

Alumni by field

Politics and civil service

* Dr. Sun Yat-sen ; Chinese revolutionary and statesman, founder of modern China
* , JP ; local community leader
* Barma, Haider H. T., GBS, JP ; former Secretary for Transport
* Dr ; Secretary for Home Affairs
* Yeung Kai Yin, CBE, JP ; Ex-chairman and Ex-chief executive of Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation ; Secretary for Education and Manpower , Secretary for Transport and Secretary for the Treasury
* Leung Po Wing, Bowen ; former Secretary for Planning, Environmental & Lands, Director of the Office of the Government of the HKSAR in Beijing
* ; Chairman of the and a Member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong
* ; former Chairman of the board of the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation
* Tong Hin Ming,Timothy, JP ; Commissioner of Customs and Excise
* ; Legislative Councillor and member of the Liberal Party
* Law Chi Kong, Joshua, JP ; Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs
* Kwok, Kenneth W. K, OBE, JP ; former Secretary for Works


* Rev. , JP ; one of the earliest barristers-at-law of Hong Kong, magistrate
* Sir Y. K. Kan, GBE, JP ; solicitor, members of Executive and Legislative Councils, former chairman of , former chairman of Bank of East Asia
* Sir Oswald Cheung, JP ; distinguished lawyer, legislator, and public servant of Hong Kong, known as "doyen of the bar"
* Sir Kwan Cho Yiu ; lawyer and judge
* s ; judge and barrister-at-law
* Justice Pang Kin Kee ; Chairman of the Electoral Affairs Commission , Judge of the of the
* Kotewall, Robert G. ; SBS, Senior Counsel, recipient of the Silver Bauhinia Star


*The Hon. Fan Hung Ling, Henry, SBS, JP ; Member, Executive Council; Managing Director, CITIC Pacific; Deputy Chairman, Cathay Pacific; Director, Dragonair
* ; Chairman of Lai Sun Group
* Yu Kam Kee, Lawrence, BBS, MBE, JP ; Chairman of Softbank Investment International Ltd
* Fong, Alex ; CEO, Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce
* ; Group Managing Director, Hutchison Whampoa

Education and academia

* Chan Wing Chit ; Sinologist, professor of philosophy in Dartmouth College and Columbia University
* Mr. Chen Pei Hsun ; composer, professor of Peking Central Institute of Music
* Fung Yee Wang ; professor of School of Education, HKU and CUHK
* Wong Siu Kit ; professor of Chinese literature, HKU
* ; President Emeritus of .
* Cheng Yiu Chung ; former Vice Chancellor of HKU
* Liu Pak Wai; vice-president of CUHK
* ; Public Opinion Project Director, HKU
* Chan Hing Yan ; head of music faculty, HKU

Arts and entertainments

* ; Canto-pop star
* Rumjahn, Mahmood ; Cantopop composer and producer
* Ng Lok Shing, Ronald ; Cantopop composer and producer
* ; TV host
* ; actor and entertainer
* Li Chuan Yun ; Violinist

Mass culture and journalism

* Ho Tsu Kwok, Charles; Chairman of
* Wong K.K.; political comics writer
* Law Kai Yui ; Film director
* Liu Chung Ping, John; TVB news reporter
* ; former TVB news reporter, actor and English educator
* Li Chun, Oscar; current NOW TV news reporter and former TVB news reporter
* Lui Ping Kuen, Bruce ; Cable TV news reporter
* Fong Tung Shing, Anthony; TVB news reporter
* So King Hang ; TVB news reporter

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