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To Serve and to Lead

A History of the Diocesan Boys' School in Hong Kong

Yee Wang Fung ,Mo Wah Moira Chan-Yeung

Publication Year: 2009

The history of the Diocesan Boys' School (DBS) — in 1869 — dates back to the very early days of Hong Kong. DBS's development has since been closely linked with that of Hong Kong.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii

I am greatly honoured and privileged to have taken part in the publication of this book which is a detailed history of DBS from its inception in 1869 to the present day. The rich and diverse culture and history of the school has spanned three centuries and two world wars. We have seen Hong Kong rising to new peaks of economic prosperity as well as...

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pp. ix-xiii

The inception of the Diocesan Boys’ School (DBS) dates back to the very early days of Hong Kong, within 30 years of its becoming a British colony as a result of the First Opium War. The school’s development has been closely linked since with that of Hong...

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pp. xv-xix

We would like to record here our most sincere gratitude to our four esteemed advisers — namely, Professor Ng-Lun Ngai Ha Alice, Professor Anthony Sweeting, Professor Luk Hung Kai Bernard..

Part I A Chronological View

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1 Background

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pp. 3-16

Most readers of this book probably only have first-hand knowledge of the Diocesan Boys’ School (DBS) at its current location in Mongkok, but DBS has a long and illustrious history which has never been properly explored. The evolution of the school has been...

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2 The School in the Making(1869–1918)

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pp. 17-36

That Bishop Alford’s appeal issued on 30 January 1869 to open the DNFTS for the purpose of an orphanage “met with a liberal response”1 must be seen against the backdrop of dramatic developments in Hong Kong brought about by the changing political scene in...

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3 Entering a New Phase (1918–41)

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pp. 37-62

The Rev. William Featherstone was an Oxford graduate and a man of independent means. He was brought up in an England that was then undergoing a very significant shift in its political and social outlook, with the introduction of universal suffrage, legislations to improve working conditions and raising of income tax to...

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4 Resurrection (1941–61)

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pp. 63-92

Soon after the fall of Hong Kong on Christmas day 1941, the entire British population in the colony was arrested and put into concentration camps — officers in Argyle Street near DBS, other ranks in Shamshuipo and civilians, women and children in Stanley. Mr. G. Goodban and three other English members of staff, namely Mr. B. J. Monks,...

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5 Striving for Freedom (1961–83)

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pp. 93-118

Mr. Sydney James Lowcock was the second old boy to take up the position of headmaster of DBS. He was born in December 1930 and entered DBS in 1946. His great grandfather, Henry Lowcock, was a founder of DBS and a member of the School Committee from 1874 to 1880. A graduate of HKU, Mr. Lowcock returned to his alma...

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6 Moving with the Times(1983–2000)

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pp. 119-140

Having received Mr. Lowcock’s letter of resignation, the School Committee immediately set up a search committee for a suitable successor. It was decided that the candidate should be “a youngish man, certainly a graduate and a practising Christian and probably an Anglican”. The position was advertised locally and internationally, as an...

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7 Meeting New Challenges(2000 to the Present)

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pp. 141-166

With the turn of the millennium, DBS entered a new stage of development as Mr. Chang Cheuk Cheung Terence took over as its ninth headmaster in August 2000. He had served as headmaster in three other schools (Po Leung Kuk 83 Directors’ College, 1984–87; Po...

Part II Other Perspectives

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8 Staff and Students

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pp. 169-194

In this chapter, we attempt to give a fairly detailed account of a few of the school’s teachers and non-teaching staff. We regret that we have been unable to describe more of them due to limitations of space. In 1869 the DHO had 23 boarders and a few day scholars under the supervision of a headmaster and a matron, but today DBS is one of the biggest schools in Hong Kong with a full...

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9 The Campus

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pp. 195-214

Since its establishment, DBS has been located in three places. In addition to the old campus on Hong Kong Island and the current one in Kowloon, there was a third site which most people may not know about — the temporary location at the northeast...

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10 School Life

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pp. 215-244

As noted in earlier chapters, the DHO gradually evolved from a co-educational boarding institution with a few day boys to a boys’ school mainly for day students, the proportion of boarders in the school being 88% in 1870, 38% in 1900, 39% in 1930, 12% in 1960, 5% in 1990 and 3% in 2008 (not counting the Primary division). Although the proportion of boarders dropped significantly over the years, they had an influence on the...

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11 Scholastic Activities

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pp. 245-270

In this chapter, the scholastic activities of DBS are grouped under four periods for discussion, using the years 1913, 1941 and 1983 as demarcating lines. The first is chosen because of the enactment of the Education Ordinance and the introduction of the Matriculation Examinations (in the academic year 1913– 14); the second because of the...

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12 Extracurricular Activities

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pp. 271-302

DBS is well known for its extracurricular activities which form an integral part of its deep-rooted “all-round education” philosophy. While education is incomplete without extracurricular activities, it should be stressed that such activities do not in themselves automatically lead to character training or result in an all-round...

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13 Old Boys, DSOBA and DBSPTA

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pp. 303-328

Most old boys of DBS have a feeling of closeness to the school — a tradition which stems from the fact that it started as an orphanage with a very small number of students, mostly boarders. During Mr. Piercy’s time, especially in the late nineteenth century, most of the students were Eurasians and Europeans who chose to remain in...

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14 Conclusion

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pp. 329-340

The school has undergone a metamorphosis since its inception 139 years ago. This chapter gives an overview of its evolution over the years in response to both political and socio-economic developments in Hong Kong and the changes it has had to make to continue to be successful and relevant to society. The school’s educational...


1 School Committee Members

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pp. 343-349

2 Senior Staff Members and Teachers

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pp. 350-368

3 Senior and Second Prefects

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pp. 369-373

4 Glossary of Abbreviations

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pp. 374-375

5 Explanation of Terms

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pp. 376-379

6 Chronicle of Events

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pp. 380-382

Sources of Information,References and Footnotes

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pp. 383-394


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pp. 395-407

E-ISBN-13: 9789888053629
Print-ISBN-13: 9789622099975

Publication Year: 2009