Diocesan Boys' School

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For the former Diocesan Boys' School in Nainital, India, see Sherwood College.
Diocesan Boys' School
Chinese: 拔萃男書院
DBS Main Building 2.JPG
Main building of the Diocesan Boys' School
Mong Kok, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Coordinates 22.322924,114.174229
School type DSS,[1] Grant School, Secondary; primary (since 2004)
Denomination Anglican Episcopal
Established 1869
School district Kowloon City District[1]
Headmaster Ronnie Kay Yen Cheng
Faculty 127 teachers[2]
Grades G7 (Form 1) – G12 (Form 6)
Campus size 50,000 m2
Colour(s) Navy blue, white and red
Newspaper Not Rigmarole (粹聞)
Yearbook Steps (集思)
Affiliation Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui

The Diocesan Boys' School (DBS; Chinese: 拔萃男書院) is one of Hong Kong's leading private boys' schools located at 131 Argyle Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Founded in 1869, it is one of the oldest secondary schools in the city.

The school aims to provide a 'liberal education based on Christian principles'; its students are encouraged to be well rounded.[3] School teams participate in various inter-school sports and music competitions, and has of late won[4] numerous Hong Kong Schools Sports Federation (HKSSF) and Hong Kong Schools Music and Speech Association (HKSMSA) awards.

Diocesan Boys' School relies on English as the means of communication. The school curriculum uses English as the medium of instruction in all subjects with the exception of Chinese-related subjects and French. Diocesan Boys' School has always been revered as one of the best boys' schools in Hong Kong.


The first foundation[edit]

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 (FES) established a girls' school affiliated with the Diocese of the Anglican denomination in Hong Kong. It was given the name Diocesan Native Female Training School (DNFTS, 曰字樓女館), and Lady Robinson, the wife of the Governor, became the patroness. According to the constitution, it aimed "to introduce among a somewhat superior class of native females the blessings of Christianity and of religious training".[5] 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.[6]

The school became mired in controversy and got into financial trouble. According to Dr. E. J. Eitel’s letter to the Colonial Secretary Frederick Stewart, it was forced to close temporarily in 1865 upon learning that almost every one of the girls learned English in that school, and became the kept mistress of foreigners on leaving school.[7]

The school was soon reopened and renamed "Diocesan Female School" (DFS), 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.[6] This marks the end of the First Foundation.

The second foundation[edit]

19th century[edit]

On 30 January 1869, Bishop Alford issued an Appeal to extend the benefits of education given in DFS to children of both sexes, which was soon met with a liberal response. Under a new constitution, the "Diocesan Home and Orphanage" (DHO), 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.[8]

In July 1870, William Arthur of the Garrison School was appointed as the headmaster, and Mrs. Arthur as the Matron.[6] In 1878, the School was then placed in the Grant-in Aid Scheme by the Education Department.

In March 1878, the School Committee decided to receive no more boys, but those already admitted should remain; this decision was reversed in July, and no more girls were received as boarders, though they still remained as day-scholars. The School was to transform into a boys’ school.[9] On 1 November, George Piercy, the third master of the Government Central School, was appointed as the headmaster.[10] Piercy focused on the academic education of the students, and the School gained satisfactory results in the Cambridge and Oxford Local Examination scholarships.[11]

In 1891, the School changed its name to "Diocesan School and Orphanage" (DSO), commemorating the erection of a new wing. All the girls left as Fairlea Girls’ School (later known as Heep Yunn School), under the superintendence of Miss Johnstone, was opened to them in 1892. For the first time DSO became a boys’ school.[9] In 1899, the Diocesan Girls’ School was founded in Rose Villas on Bonham Road, Ms. Hawker being the Head Teacher.[12]

Early 20th century[edit]

In 1902, the School changed its name to "Diocesan Boys’ School and Orphanage" (DBSO).[13] It is unclear when the school changed its name from DBSO to DBS, the name DBS having been used as early as 1918.[14] Rev. William 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.[15]

War 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 organised 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.[16] In 1939, it even led to a School strike when a student of Japanese citizenship was appointed as Head Prefect.[17]

During the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong beginning in 1941, most of the personnel at the school, including then-Headmaster Gerald Goodban were imprisoned, and the school building itself transformed into a military hospital for soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army.

Post-war years[edit]

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. 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.[18] In the 1950s, great construction plans including a gymnasium, a Carnegie Hall (the old Art Room beside the demolished gymnasium) and a science wing were proposed.

In 1955, Goodban announced his resignation while Canon George Zimmern (aka George She) 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.[19] 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.[20]

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 senior teacher Jacland Lai. 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 computerisation was performed throughout the School.

In 1991, the Education and Manpower Bureau tabled an offer to DBS to join the Direct Subsidy Scheme. However, the offer was rejected in fear of budget deficit.

The Millennium[edit]

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.

On 4 October 2002, the School Committee decided to join the Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS) with effect from September 2003. The application was accepted by the then Education and Manpower Bureau in March 2003,[21] making it the third Anglican school to join the DSS.

Throughout 2002, the DSS was fiercely debated within the school. While Chang was highly in favour of joining the scheme,[22] some students and most teachers opposed the scheme fiercely, fearing it would deprive children from less well-off families of the opportunity to attend DBS and change its education for all tradition. Old boys were slightly inclined towards the DSS, while the school claimed that parents were in favour, though the school's findings have since been criticised as biased.[23]

After a 35 year hiatus, it was decided to found and built a primary school on the School campus. The project was wholly financed and undertaken by the government as part of the deal that saw DBS join the DSS.[24] The primary school, known as the Diocesan Boys' School Primary Division (DBSPD) had its first (partial) intake of students in 2004. It further expanded its intake with students aged between 6 and 12 in 2005.

In April 2012, Diocesan Boys' School becomes the first secondary school in Hong Kong to have a school app on iOS and Android, which is created by Software Development Group.

Later the year, Chang retired and the former Dean of Culture Ronnie Kay Yen Cheng took over as the Headmaster.

Heads and houses[edit]

Roster of heads[edit]

Name Name in Chinese Portrait Tenure Remarks
First Foundation(DNFTS
1. Ms. Wilson 韋以信女士 1860–1862
2. Ms. M.A.W. Eaton 伊頓女士 1862–1865 Married Dr. E. J. Eitel in 1866.
3. Ms. Rendle 蘭德爾女士 1865–1867
4. Ms. M.J. Oxlad 岳士列女士 1868 Simultaneously the superintendent of the Baxter Schools.
Second Foundation
1. William Monarch Burnside ARTHUR 雅瑟 WMB Arthur2.jpg 1870–1878 Co-educational period.
2. George H. PIERCY 俾士 1878–1917 A boys' school was transformed in 1891.
3. Rev. William T. FEATHERSTONE 費瑟士東 WTF1.jpg 1917–1931 The campus was moved from the Island to Kowloon in 1926.
Henry du Toit PYNER 派納 1931 –1932, acting Mr. Pyner wasd a botanist and introduced various kinds of plants to the new campus.
4. Rev. Christopher Birdwood Roussel Sargent[25] 舒展
CBR Sargent.JPG
1932–1938 Rev. Sargent saved the School from financial crisis by selling the eastern part of hill to the Kadoories.
5. Gerald Archer GOODBAN 葛賓 Gerald Archer Goodban.jpg 1938–1941 Mr. Goodban was interned in the Shumshuipo p.o.w. camp during the war.
Japanese occupation of Hong Kong (1941–1945)
Oswald Victor CHEUNG 張奧偉 OV Cheung.JPG 1946, acting A Eurasian and old boy, Sir Oswald was still an undergraduate of HKU when appointed. Later he furthered his study in Oxford University and became a Queen's counsel.
Benjamin John MONKS 孟克士 BJ Monks.jpg 1946, acting
5. Gerald Archer GOODBAN 葛賓 Gerald Archer Goodban.jpg 1946–1955
B. J. MONKS 孟克士 BJ Monks.jpg 1955, acting
6. Rev. George Samuel ZIMMERN (aka Canon George She)[26] 施玉麒 1955–1961 The first Eurasian and old boy to become headmaster.
7. Sidney James LOWCOCK 郭慎墀 1961–1983 The first head with a degree of local tertiary institutions (HKU).
8. Jacland LAI Chak Lun 黎澤倫 1983–2000 The first Chinese headmaster.
9. Terence CHANG Cheuk Cheung 張灼祥 2000–2012 Introduced 5 new buildings to the campus.
10. Ronnie CHENG Kay Yen 鄭基恩 2012–


Arthur (A)
Piercy (P)
Sykes (Sy)
Featherstone (F)
Sargent (Sa)
Goodban (G)
George She (GS)
Lowcock (L)

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, the Red Club was added in 1947. Three past headmasters, Piercy, Sargent and Featherstone died 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 Henry 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.[27] 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.[28] However, the Zimmern House project remained under discussion for years. In September 2011 the George She House was created, and orange was chosen as the house colour.

The Houses, abbreviations and representative colours are as per the inset.

School badge and school hymn[edit]

School badge[edit]

The School badge is composed of seven elements: the Mitre, the Crown, the Crozier, the Key, the Bible, the Shell 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.

School hymn[edit]

The Diocesan Boys' School Hymn[29]
by Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936)

Verse 1:

Father in heav'n who lovest all.
O help thy children when they call;
That they may build from age to age
An undefiled heritage.

Verse 2:

Teach us to bear the yoke in youth,
With steadfastness and careful truth;
That in our time thy grace may give
The truth whereby the nations live.

Verse 3:

Teach us to look in all our ends
On thee for judge, and not our friends;
That we, with thee, may walk uncowed
By fear or favour of the crowd.

Verse 4:

Teach us the strength that cannot seek,
By deed or thought, to hurt the weak;
That, under thee, we may possess
Man's strength to comfort man's distress.

Verse 5:

Teach us delight in simple things.
And mirth that has no bitter springs;
Forgiveness free of evil done
And love to all men 'neath the sun.

The Diocesan Boys' School Hymn was composed by Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).


School campus, with running track on school field. Behind the school field is the campus of the Primary Division.
The running track
Sign at the bottom of the school drive

The current campus, located on Kadoorie Hill in Mong Kok, has been built since the 1920s, and replaced its former campus in The Mid-Levels. Unlike the majority of secondary schools in Hong Kong, the campus is relatively large, with many buildings scattered on the site. Diocesan Boys' School is the second largest secondary school in Hong Kong, second only to St. Stephen's College in Stanley.


The campus of Diocesan Boys' School, spread out on the west side of Kadoorie Hill, is very spacious compared to other schools in Hong Kong. It comprises numerous buildings, with several sports fields and courts in between the buildings. I the term of he former Headmaster Terence Chang took over, 5 new buildings were built by old boy architect Mr. Thomas Chow (class of 1975, former Senior Prefect), who has won 3 Hong Kong Institute of Architects awards for his work for DBS.

  • The Main Building was built in 1926. Many of the main facilities are located in it, including the School Hall, the General Office, the Covered Playground, the George She Christian Centre, the Canteen and Tuck Shop and a lot of classrooms and special rooms etc. It is shaped like the Chinese character "王". Between the horizontal strokes of the character, there are two parking lots (for staff), a rock garden (built in 1955, designed by former art teacher Mr. Y. T. Kwong), and a glass dining hall pavilion, which cost $6M for boarding students.
  • The New Wing and the New New Wing were built in the 1950s and the 1970s respectively. The New Wing houses more classrooms, laboratories and the NSS library. The New New Wing also houses more classrooms and laboratories and computer rooms.
  • The Gymnasium, built in 1951, was demolished in the late 00s to make way for the Yunni and Maxine Pao Auditorium. The small barbecue pit next to the building was kept and now sits next to the Auditorium.
  • The Headmaster's Residence, built in 1952; demolished in the late 90s to make way for the Primary Division.
  • The Primary Division of the school was opened in 2004. It houses all the facilities for the primary school including 30 classrooms, computer laboratories, a main assembly hall and covered playground, 2 basketball courts and an outdoor auditorium etc. The whole complex cost more than $130M. The building's architect, the aforementioned Mr. Thomas Chow won the "Hong Kong Institute of Architects Medal of the Year" for his work.
  • The Mrs Tsai Ming Sang Building, built in 2005, houses 10 more classrooms and other laboratories and computer rooms, and a large staff room. It is also known as the SIP Building, which stands for "School Improvement Programme". The cost of the building was $44M.
  • The Samuel Tak Lee Building, named after billionaire Samuel Tak Lee, who is an old boy (class of 1958) and donated $70M for the construction of the building, was opened in 2008. It houses dormitories and common rooms for boarders, with an 25 meters indoor swimming pool and a gymnasium (replacing the former one). Special rooms in the building were used as classrooms for International Baccalaureate students before the opening of the Michiko Miyakawa Building. It is also known as the Sports & Dormitory Complex. The whole complex cost $120M. The architect, the aforementioned Mr. Thomas Chow won the "Hong Kong Institute of Architects Medal of the Year" for his work again.
  • The Michiko Miyakawa Building opened in 2011. The building is designed mainly for the International Baccalaureate Programme, which has been available at DBS since 2011. It also houses the new School Chapel, namely St. Augustine's Chapel, and the Ronald J. Chao Library.
  • The Yunni and Maxine Pao Auditorium opened in 2012. It is built on the site of the former gymnasium, which has been demolished prior to construction. Inside, there is the 800-seat Yip Kit Chuen Concert Hall, and a couple of other rooms and art galleries as well. The simultaneous construction for the Yunni and Maxine Pao Auditorium and Michiko Miyakawa Building cost HKD$1.52B, the highest for the school yet. The aforementioned architect Mr. Thomas Chow won yet another award for his work on both buildings, the "Hong Kong Institute of Architects Merit Award - Community Building".

Other facilities[edit]

  • The School Field is a large football field used for Physical Education lessons and school team training sessions. It is located between the New Wing and the Primary Division. The Chi Track is a 280-meter, 4-lane round track circling the field. For decades it had been a cricket field with a concrete cricket pitch, until the laying of the track. The field and the track were completely redone in 2006 at a cost of $5M, and the cricket pitch was removed. The track is named after Wong Chau Chi Charles, an old boy of class 1982. Since then, the school also launched more facilities in the field area, including a long jump pitch, a discus-throwing pitch, a golf cage, an archery range and a tree house.
  • Aside from the indoor swimming pool in the Samuel Tak Lee Building, here is a 25-metre Outdoor Swimming Pool next to the field. Students now mainly use the indoor one, but the outdoor one is still frequently being used by the primary division.
  • In the middle of the campus is a Basketball Court, surrounded by other blocks; there were also 2 Tennis Courts to the north, which were demolished in 2003. The SIP Building and two newer tennis courts (Next to the Samuel Tak Lee Building) were built afterwards.
  • The school is reachable via two main entrances. The School Drive is a long road with a path running along, connecting the Southern entrance to downhill. Its start meets Argyle Street; its end meets the roundabout in front of the Main Building. The path along the School Drive was not constructed until George She became the headmaster in late 1950's. Nowadays It is named Rev. George She Path. On the other hand, the school Steps is a nearly-200-step steep staircase connecting the Northern entrance of the school (near the Samuel Tak Lee Building) with Prince Edward Road West.
  • Next to the former Gymnasium, there is a small barbecue pit with a tall stone tablet that has the School Motto written on it.


The school uses English as the main medium of instruction, although certain subjects (other than Chinese itself) uses Chinese.

Currently, both the Primary and Secondary Division follow the Hong Kong Examination Authority's curriculum. Students start off with a common curriculum in Grades 7 to 9. After then, some students of Grade 10 or above fall into the New Secondary System (also known as "334"), and they will take the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education examinations. The other batch of Grade 10 students fall into the Pre-International Baccalaureate (Pre-IB) programme. After they complete the Pre-IB programme, they will enter the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), and will graduate if they pass the IB Finals.

For Grades 7 to 9, a 'streaming' system is used for the classes. The top and weakest students in a grade are separated into different classes for further, reinforced education. All of the rankings are based on the academic rankings in the previous academic year. For Grade 7 students, they will be ranked in accordance with their results in the Streaming Test held in July, before the start of the academic year. The arrangements are as follow:

(The listed are the classes offered, ranked in accordance with the students' academic rankings in the previous academic year)

For home classes:

  • Grade 7 D, S, P, M, J, T
  • Grade 8 D, S, P, M, J, T
  • Grade 9 D, S, P, M, J, T

The top 80 students in a grade will be randomly distributed into the D and S classes. The next 40 (81-120) students will be distributed into the P class. The next 40 students (121-160) will be distributed into the M class. The rest will be randomly distributed into the J and T classes.

For English, Chinese and Mathematics, the 'streaming' system is even more detailed. The arrangements are as follow:

(The listed are the streams offered, ranked in accordance with the students' academic rankings of the 3 subjects in the previous academic year)

For English and Chinese streams:

  • Grade 7 X, D, S, P, M, N, J, T, R1, R2
  • Grade 8 X, D, S, P, M, N, J, T, R1, R2
  • Grade 9 X, D, S, P, M, N, J, T, R1, R2

For Mathematics streams:

  • Grade 7 X, D, S, P, M, J, T, R1, R2
  • Grade 8 X, D, S, P, M, J, T, R1, R2
  • Grade 9 X, D, S, P, M, J, T, R1, R2

For English and Chinese, the top (approx.) 20 students in the D and S classes (home classes) will be distributed into the X class. The next 30 will be distributed into the D class. The next 30 will be distributed into the S class. For students in the P and M home classes, they will be distributed into the P, M and N classes (ranked in order of the students' academic results). For the students in J, they will be distributed into J,and R1, while T students will be distributed into T and R2. Students in R1 and R2 are the weakest 30 in the whole grade.

For Mathematics, the pool of students are divided into 3: from the D, P and S home classes, M, J classes and T classes. Then, D, P and S students will be distributed into X, D, P and S, while the M and J T students will be distributed into M, J and R1/ Lastly, students from T home class will be distributed into T and R2.

The Pre-IB and IB programme exclusively use the Michiko Miyakawa Building. Originally, the school intended to admit girls into the IB course but this was later cancelled when it was faced with strong objection and protest from students and parents.

In March 2009, the school received media attention when a Form 4 student complained that he had had a nude female model as a subject in his art class, and alleged embarrassment. The visual arts teacher, employed for 27 years, told reporters that he had been inviting nude models without any complaint for nearly ten years. Then-Headmaster Terence Chang said it was a "big fuss about nothing".[30]

Extracurricular Activities[edit]


Various sports are played within school, and school teams of DBS are strong competitors among Hong Kong schools. They have been crowned Overall Champions in Archery, Athletics, Badminton (Grand Slam in 2009/10 & 2010/11 in the Kowloon area), Basketball (Grand Slam in 2013/14 in the Kowloon area), Cross Country, Fencing, Football, Handball, Hockey, Indoor Rowing (Grand Slam in 2013/14), Life Saving, Rugby Sevens, Softball, Squash, Swimming, Table Tennis (Grand Slam in 1960/61), Tennis, Tenpin Bowling and Volleyball (Grand Slam in 1977/78 in the Kowloon area).[31]

The School's Athletics, Swimming, Tennis and Life Saving Teams are the most distinguished among all. They have each won more than half of the available Overall Championships in the history of their disciplines:

  • Athletics – 35 Championships in 52 years, 10 Grand Slams (1979/80, 1980/81, 1990/91, 1991/92, 1992/93, 1996/97, 1997/98, 2003/04, 2005/06 & 2013/14)
  • Swimming – 29 Championships in 48 years, 7 Grand Slams (1966/67, 1994/95, 1996/97, 2005/06, 2007/08, 2009/10 & 2010/11)
  • Tennis – 37 Championships in 62 years
  • Life Saving – 27 Championships in 42 years, 23 Grand Slams (1975/76, 1982/83, 1992/93, 1993/94 & 1995/96 - 2013/14)

Recently, the School has won the Inter-School Swimming Competition for a record 21 consecutive years, the Inter-School Tennis Competition for a record 14 consecutive years (straight wins every year), and the All Hong Kong Inter-Secondary School Life Saving Competition for a record 22 consecutive years. Athletics Team was crowned the Overall Champion for a record 7 consecutive years between 2003/04 and 2009/10.

In 2013/14, the school has won a record 14 Open Grade/Overall Championships in Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Cross Country, Fencing, Football, Handball, Indoor Rowing, Life Saving, Swimming, Tenpin Bowling, Tennis and Volleyball; a record 4 Grand Slams in Athletics, Basketball, Indoor Rowing and Life Saving; a record 3 Jing Ying Team Championships in Badminton, Basketball and Football; as well as the BOCHK Bauhinia Bowl, the BOCHK Rising Star Award and the Outstanding School Award in Jing Ying Team Sports Competitions.

In December 2010, the school swimming team successfully defended the Grand Slam title at the Inter-School Swimming Championships 2010/11 in the boys' section, which is unprecedented in history.

In March 2003, the school football team captured the All Hong Kong Schools Jing Ying Football Tournament 2002/03 Champion as a Division Three team, which is also unprecedented in history.

The School is currently second in terms of the number of Omega Rose Bowl/BOCHK Bauhinia Bowl won in the Boys Schools Section. The BOCHK Bauhinia Bowl, previously known as Omega Rose Bowl, is an annual award to the best performing school in Inter-School Sports Competitions in the HK Island and Kowloon Region.


The Diocesan Boys' School Music Department provides opportunities for students to participate in six choirs, a full symphony orchestra, string and wind orchestras, a Chinese orchestra, and numerous chamber ensembles.

The students are bestowed with opportunities to explore their interest in music and to perfect their skills in music. Throughout the history of the school, the musicians have continued to receive critical acclaim on both local and international levels.

The Diocesan Boys' School Music Department are currently lead by its alumni—Felix Shuen and Samuel Pang, both serving as conductors and music teachers of the school.


The DBS Orchestra is one of the oldest youth orchestras in Hong Kong. Its current director is Samuel Pang, who is also an alumnus of the school. The DBS Orchestra was founded during George She's time in 1956, though before that Mr Goodban had already been promoting instrumental music within DBS. The orchestra first started with only 18 members, with Lo King Man as the conductor. Now the orchestra has up to 80 members. Its recent performances include Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 (2012), Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 (2013), Mahler's Symphony No. 5 (2014). The DBS Orchestra is currently the record holder of the highest marks ever achieved (98 marks, 2004) in the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival Symphony Orchestra (Senior) category. The DBS Orchestra is the current champions of the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival Symphony Orchestra (Senior) competition (2014), with 95 marks, performing Prokofiev's Symphony No. 1 (1st, 4th mvt) and Mahler's Symphony No. 5 (5th mvt).

The DBS Strings Orchestra is a division from the DBS Orchestra. The DBS Strings Orchestra became a conductor-less orchestra in 2007. Recent achievements of the DBS Strings Orchestra include 10 Consecutive Strings Orchestra (Senior) championships in the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival (2005-2014)

Recent achievements

2014 Hong Kong Schools Music Festival

  • Winner of Symphony Orchestra (Senior)
  • Winner of Strings Orchestra (Senior)
  • Winner of Chinese Orchestra (Senior)
  • Winner of Strings Ensemble
  • Winner of Woodwind Ensemble (Senior)
  • Winner of Woodwind Ensemble (Junior)

2013 Hong Kong Schools Music Festival

  • Winner of Symphony Orchestra (Senior)
  • Winner of Strings Orchestra (Senior)
  • Winner of Strings Ensemble
  • Winner of Brass Ensemble

2012 Hong Kong Schools Music Festival

  • Winner of Symphony Orchestra (Senior)
  • Winner of Strings Orchestra (Senior)
  • Winner of Chinese Orchestra (Senior)
  • Most Outstanding School Award

2011 Hong Kong Schools Music Festival

  • Winner of Symphony Orchestra (Senior)
  • Winner of Strings Orchestra (Senior)
  • Winner of Concert Band (Senior)
  • Most Outstanding School Award

2010 Hong Kong Schools Music Festival

  • Winner of Strings Orchestra (Senior)
  • Most Outstanding School Award


There are six choirs in the Diocesan Boys' School Music Department

  • Senior Boys' Choir
  • Senior Mixed Choir (with Diocesan Girls' School)
  • Intermediate Boys' Choir
  • Intermediate Mixed Choir (with Heep Yunn School)
  • Treble Choir
  • Junior Mixed Choir (with Diocesan Girls' School)

The Treble Choir and Junior Mixed Choir are for students with treble voices only. The "intermediate" choirs are for students who are at the earlier stages of adolescent vocal development, while the "senior" choirs are for students with relatively developed voices.

All six choirs are regular participants of the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival first division competitions. The Diocesan Boys' School Senior Choir and the Diocesan Boys' School & Diocesan Girls' School Senior Mixed Choir are regular participants of international competitions, including the World Choir Games. Felix Shuen is the director of both choirs.

Recent achievements

2014 Hong Kong Schools Music Festival

  • Best Boys' Choir of the Year
  • Best Junior Choir of the Year

The 8th World Choir Games Riga, Latvia

  • World Champion; Gold Medal in the Young Male Choirs Category
  • First Runner-up; Gold Medal in the Musica Sacra Category
  • First Runner-up; Gold Medal in the Youth Mixed Choirs Category

2013 Hong Kong Schools Music Festival

  • Best Boys' Choir of the Year
  • Best Mixed Choir of the Year

2012 Hong Kong Schools Music Festival

  • Best Boys' Choir of the Year
  • Best Mixed Choir of the Year
  • Most Outstanding School Award

The 7th World Choir Games Cincinnati, USA

  • World Champion; Gold Medal in the Young Male Choirs Category
  • First Runner-up; Gold Medal in the Musica Sacra Category

2011 Hong Kong Schools Music Festival

  • Best Boys' Choir of the Year
  • Best Mixed Choir of the Year
  • Most Outstanding Secondary Choir of the Year
  • Most Outstanding School Award

The 7th International Johannes Brahms Festival & Competition Wernigerode, Germany

  • World Champion; Gold Medal in the Male Choirs Category
  • Grand Prize; Champion with Gold Medal in the Youth Choir Category

2010 Hong Kong Schools Music Festival

  • Best Boys' Choir of the Year
  • Best Mixed Choir of the Year
  • Most Outstanding Secondary Choir of the Year

The 6th World Choir Games Shaoxing, China

  • World Champion; Gold Medal in the Young Male Choirs Category
  • World Champion; Gold Medal in the Musica Sacra Category

Chinese Music[edit]

The Diocesan Boys' School Chinese Orchestra (DBSCO; Chinese: 拔萃男書院國樂會) originated from a Pipa Ensemble back in the 50's and developed into a full orchestra in the 60's. The mission of DBSCO is to promote Chinese music and culture. Since its founding, Diocesan Boys’ School Chinese Orchestra has been an active participant in the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival and captured numerous championships in the ‘Chinese Orchestra (Senior)’ category. Currently, Dean of Culture - Mr. CHO Ka-wai (曹家偉) and Mr. WONG Ka-long (王家朗) are the teachers-in-charge of DBSCO and Mr. KWOK Hang-kei is the Principal Conductor and Art Director.

In September 1996, DBSCO was invited to perform in the “75th Anniversary Gala Performance of The British Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech”. In October 1998, the Orchestra was invited by a renowned Erhu master, Professor Wong Kwok-tung (王國潼) to perform in a concert with other Chinese Orchestras in the Hong Kong City Hall. The Orchestra debuted the piece "Capriccio on the Theme of Princess Changping" (帝女花隨想曲) and performed a couple of other pieces which were highly acclaimed. In 2005 and 2007, the Orchestra had participated in the 2nd and 4th "Youth Chinese Orchestra Beijing Invitational Competition" in Beijing, China and was awarded ‘Sunshine Prize’ (First Prize) in both years. In 2010, the Orchestra was led by Mr. KWOK Hang-kei and held two highly acclaimed concerts in Yunnan Province, China. In July 2014, the Orchestra participated in “International Youth Music Festival II” in Bratislava, Slovakia for three performances and one competition. DBSCO was awarded the Golden Band (First Prize) in the category Ensembles with free instrumentation up to 35 years and got the Grand Prix (Overall Champion) of the event. In addition, the conductor of the DBSCO, Mr. KWOK Hang-kei (郭亨基) was awarded the Best Orchestra Conductor.

Clubs and Societies[edit]

Clubs & Societies

  • Art Society
  • Astronomy Club
  • Aviation & Transportation Club
  • Bridge Club
  • Business Studies Group
  • Chess Club
  • Chinese Society
  • Chinese Debating Team
  • Chinese History Club
  • Dance Club
  • Design and Technology Club
  • English Society
  • English Debating Team
  • English Literature Club
  • Environmental Studies Society
  • Film & Video Society
  • Foreign Culture Club
  • French Club
  • History Society
  • Interact Club
  • Magic Club
  • Mathematics Club
  • Meteorological and Geographical Society
  • Modern Music Club
  • Ocean & Voyage Society
  • Orienteering Club
  • Science Society
  • Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Group
  • Social Services Society

Student Groups

  • Audio and Visual Team
  • Business & Promotion Department
  • Careers Office
  • Christian Fellowship
  • Civic Education Group
  • Computer Technical Support Team
  • Destination Imagination
  • Hong Kong Awards For Young People
  • Information Technology Working Group
  • Library
  • Mathematics Olympiad Team
  • Not Rigmarole
  • Olympiad in Informatics Team
  • Photographic Team
  • Physics Olympiad Team
  • Prefects' Board
  • Publications Department
  • 6th Kowloon Scouts Group (Scouts)
  • Robotics Team
  • Software Development Group
  • Sports Injuries & First Aid Squad
  • Steps Editorial Board
  • Student Guidance Team
  • Timing Squad
  • Toastmasters Group
  • Venture Scouts


DBS also participates in other competitions, such as art, drama, business, mathematics, computer programming and the Hong Kong Schools Speech Festival.

DBS counts a total of 7 winners of the Hong Kong Outstanding Students Awards,[32] ranking tenth among all secondary schools in Hong Kong.

Alumni by field[edit]

Politics and civil service[edit]

Dr. Sun Yat-sen



Education and academia[edit]

Arts and entertainment[edit]

Mass culture and journalism[edit]


  • Lamsam, Roy(伍劭雄); cricket player
  • Denis Cunningham; Fencing. Represented Hong Kong in 1976 and 1984 Olympic games. Chairman of Hong Kong Fencing Association.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b School Information Search & School Lists Education Bureau, The Government of the Hong Kong
  2. ^ "Diocesan Boys' School – School Information". HKedCity. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  3. ^ http://www.dbs.edu.hk/index.php?section=aboutdbs&sub=schoolmission
  4. ^ List of Champion Schools Hong Kong Schools Sports Federation
  5. ^ Featherstone, p.14
  6. ^ a b c Featherstone, p.1
  7. ^ E. J. Eitel’s letter to the Colonial Secretary in 1889, CO 129/342, quoted in Vicky Lee, Being Eurasian: Memories Across Racial Divides (Hong Kong University Press, 2004), p.21
  8. ^ Featherstone, p.99
  9. ^ a b Featherstone, p.48
  10. ^ Featherstone, p.103
  11. ^ Featherstone, p.3
  12. ^ "Blue Book", Hong Kong Government, 1899
  13. ^ Featherstone, p.129
  14. ^ Fung and Chan-Yeung, p.48
  15. ^ Featherstone, p.5
  16. ^ Steps, Diocesan Boys' School, 1938
  17. ^ W. J. Smyly, A History of the Diocesan Boys’ School (unpublished manuscript circa 1967)
  18. ^ Steps, Diocesan Boys' School, 1949
  19. ^ George She Memorial Dedicated at DBS, DSOBA
  20. ^ Headmaster’s Report, Steps, Diocesan Boys' School, 1970
  21. ^ DBS School Committee Minutes 6 June 2003
  22. ^ Terence Chang, "Why Direct Subsidy Scheme?", South China Morning Post 16 March 2002
  23. ^ Fung and Chan-Yeung, p.149-152
  24. ^ DBS School Committee minutes 10 November 1998
  25. ^ Biography, Ricci Roundtable (Chinese)
  26. ^ 知時好雨, 潤物無聲 Nicholas L. Chan, Ta Kung Pao, 23 November 2004 (Chinese)
  27. ^ Report on the New Lowcock House, Diocesan Old Boys' Association, 2002
  28. ^ 知時好雨, 潤物無聲 Nicholas L. Chan, Ta Kung Pao, 24 November 2004 (Chinese)
  29. ^ http://www.dbs.edu.hk/index.php?section=aboutdbs&sub=schoolhymn
  30. ^ 校長指毋須大驚小怪 男拔聘裸女供素描 學生尷尬, Sing Tao, 20 March 2009 (Chinese)
  31. ^ HKSSA 40th years of schools sports
  32. ^ Past Winners of the Hong Kong Outstanding Students Awards
  33. ^ 羅旭龢 香港實業家, Luoshi.net (羅氏通譜網), 10 September 2004 (Chinese)
  34. ^ "拔萃校友報師恩 給好校長一個家 DBS alumni show teacher gratitude -gifts headmaster a home". Apple Daily (in Chinese). 2 November 2009. 
  35. ^ [1] St. James Settlement Website, retrieved Nov 2009; Clsss of 64 web site: http://dbs64.com/Profiles/Michael%20Lai.htm
  36. ^ Diocesan Boys' School Seventy Years Ago, by W.J. Howard
  37. ^ HKU Honorary Graduates University of Hong Kong
  38. ^ Appointment of Judges to Court of Final Appeal Legislative Council
  39. ^ Electoral Affairs Commission Membership Electoral Affairs Commission
  40. ^ Chinese unofficial members of the Legislative and Executive Councils in Hong Kong up to 1941, by T. C. Ceng, O.B.E., M.A
  41. ^ [2] Temple Chambers - Jat Sew-Tong SC, JP
  42. ^ [3]
  43. ^ "拔萃校友報師恩 給好校長一個家 DBS alumni show teacher gratitude -gifts headmaster a home". Apple Daily (in Chinese) (Hong Kong). 2 November 2009. 
  44. ^ 陳榮捷小傳, Kaiping District Government, People's Republic of China (Chinese)
  45. ^ 陳培勳簡介, Government, Taiwan Republic of China (Chinese)
  46. ^ An Interview with our New Dean Professor Sum-ping Lee, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong
  47. ^ [4], 蘋果動新聞 - 至潮神級醫生 救人不為金

Further reading[edit]

  • Rev. W. T. Featherstone, The Diocesan Boys School and Orphanage, Hong Kong: The History and Records 1869–1929 (Hong Kong: Ye Olde Printerie Ltd, 1930)
  • W. J. Smyly, A History of the Diocesan Boys’ School (unpublished manuscript circa 1967)
  • The GS Book Editors, A Tribute to Rev. Canon George She Headmaster 1955–1961 Diocesan Boys’ School (Hong Kong: The Green Pagoda Press, 2004)
  • E. J. Eitel's letter to the Colonial Secretary in 1889, CO 129/342, quoted in Vicky Lee, Being Eurasian: Memories Across Racial Divides (Hong Kong University Press, 2004), p. 21
  • Steps, Diocesan Boys' School, various years
  • Y.W. Fung and M.W. Chan-Yeung, To Serve and To Lead – A History of the Diocesan Boys' School Hong Kong (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2009) ISBN 962209998

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 22°19′21.95″N 114°10′27.71″E / 22.3227639°N 114.1743639°E / 22.3227639; 114.1743639