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To Serve and to Lead

To Serve and to Lead: History of the Diocesan Boys' School in Hong Kong

Fung Yee Wang
Chan-Yeung Mo Wah Moira
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 428
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  • Book Info
    To Serve and to Lead
    Book Description:

    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. As Hong Kong emerged from a fishing village into "Asia's World City", the school has transformed from a small home and orphanage into one of the best schools in the region.

    eISBN: 978-988-8053-62-9
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Terence Chang

    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 struggling through periods of financial and social uncertainty. Amid the vicissitudes of history, DBS has stood the test of time remarkably well in many ways. Spiritually, the devotion shown by its students, parents, teachers old...

  4. Preface
    (pp. ix-xiv)
    Fung Yee Wang
  5. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xv-xx)
    Fung Yee Wang and Chan-Yeung Mo Wah Moira
  6. Part I A Chronological View

    • 1 Background
      (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 intimately tied to the history of Hong Kong itself, almost from the early 1840s when Hong Kong became a British Crown Colony as a result of the First Opium War. This volume not only tells the story of our school but also relates it to the changes within our society as a whole; and it is as...

    • 2 The School in the Making (1869–1918)
      (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 China: the Taiping Rebellion, the Peking Convention and the “Self-Strengthening Movement”.

      In the 1850s, with the Taiping Rebellion, refugees poured into Hong Kong from the southern provinces of Guangdong and Fujian. They came from a different social class and were wealthier than the earlier immigrants, bringing with them capital for trade and commerce, a pattern we...

    • 3 Entering a New Phase (1918–41)
      (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 pay for social programmes. He came to the East to work for the Missions to Seamen but was somehow diverted to the school by the new bishop of the diocese, Bishop Duppuy.

      Featherstone had been invited to organize the school’s scripture examination in 1914¹ and so was no...

    • 4 Resurrection (1941–61)
      (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, Mr. A. K. Crawford and Mr. G. G. Davies, were taken as prisoners of war and placed in concentration camps; and Mrs. Goodban and their first child, born on 23 December 1941, were taken to Stanley. Many prisoners were tortured and then killed;...

    • 5 Striving for Freedom (1961–83)
      (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 mater to teach in 1953. In 1961 when he was appointed headmaster of DBS, he was faced with multiple challenges in an era of rapid development in the basic structure of education in Hong Kong.

      The period 1961–83 was...

    • 6 Moving with the Times (1983–2000)
      (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 overseas appointment was not precluded.¹

      When the advertisements failed to attract suitable candidates, the search committee invited Mr. William Jacobsen and Mr. Lai Chak Lun Jacland, the two serving deputy headmasters, to apply, and both responded. In the end, the School Committee decided to offer the appointment to Mr....

    • 7 Meeting New Challenges (2000 to the Present)
      (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 Leung Kuk Tang Yuk Tien College, 1987–88; and Jockey Club Ti-I College, 1989–2000) before returning to his alma mater. He received his B.A. from HKU, Diploma in Education from CUHK and M.Ed. from Harvard University. Being the headmaster of his alma mater has been a real challenge for him as he has...

  7. Part II Other Perspectives

    • 8 Staff and Students
      (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 complement of 13 grades (12 grades from 2009–10), a teaching staff of 177 (71 for primary and 106 for secondary) and a student population of...

    • 9 The Campus
      (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 junction of Nathan Road and Prince Edward Road in Kowloon where the school was accommodated for about a year when the military requisitioned the new campus for use as a hospital in 1927.

      At its inception in 1869, the DHO was housed in the campus built in 1862 for the DNFTS (a site currently occupied by...

    • 10 School Life
      (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 school far beyond their numbers in terms of its social ethos and they set, to a very large extent, the tone of its subsequent development....

    • 11 Scholastic Activities
      (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 Japanese invasion of Hong Kong; and the third because of the publication of the report “A Perspective on Education in Hong Kong” by the International Panel of Visitors. These events all exerted an enormous influence on the development of education in Hong Kong in general...

    • 12 Extracurricular Activities
      (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 education — their effectiveness rests on the way in which they are handled.

      In the early days of the school, sports activities were considered important mainly from the standpoint of health. The annual report of 1885 recorded that the boys were frequently taken to Stonecutters Island to learn to swim because of its positive...

    • 13 Old Boys, DSOBA and DBSPTA
      (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 Hong Kong and found employment in the civil service, docks, lawyers’ and merchants’ offices, and stores. As Hong Kong was a small place and the school was their second home, it is easy to understand why they would frequent their alma mater...

    • 14 Conclusion
      (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 principles and changing values, as well as the characteristics of its graduates, are also assessed.

      The school had humble beginnings and its historical development was not always smooth. Serious problems and conflicts threatened its existence from time to time but luckily they were all resolved satisfactorily....

  8. Appendix

    • Appendix 1 School Committee Members
      (pp. 343-349)
    • Appendix 2 Senior Staff Members and Teachers
      (pp. 350-368)
    • Appendix 3 Senior and Second Prefects
      (pp. 369-373)
    • Appendix 4 Glossary of Abbreviations
      (pp. 374-375)
    • Appendix 5 Explanation of Terms
      (pp. 376-379)
    • Appendix 6 Chronicle of Events
      (pp. 380-382)
  9. Sources of Information, References and Footnotes
    (pp. 383-394)
  10. Index
    (pp. 395-407)