Diocesan Boys' School

  (Redirected from Diocesan Boys School)

The Diocesan Boys' School (DBS) is a day and boarding Anglican boys' school in Hong Kong, located at 131 Argyle Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon near Mong Kok East station. Founded in 1869, it is one of the oldest and most prestigious secondary schools in the city.[3][4] The school's mission is "to provide a liberal education based on Christian principles".[5] Having run as a grant-aided school since it was founded, the school commenced operation in the Direct Subsidy Scheme in September 2003. It uses English as the medium of instruction.

Diocesan Boys' School
Chinese: 拔萃男書院
DBS Main Building 2.JPG
Main building of Diocesan Boys' School in January 2006

Hong Kong
Coordinates22°19′21.95″N 114°10′27.71″E / 22.3227639°N 114.1743639°E / 22.3227639; 114.1743639Coordinates: 22°19′21.95″N 114°10′27.71″E / 22.3227639°N 114.1743639°E / 22.3227639; 114.1743639
School typeDSS,[1] Grant School, Secondary; primary (since 2004)
Established1869; 153 years ago (1869)
PresidentPaul Kwong
DeanNg Kay Kong, Cho Ka Wai, Wong Yuen Ting
HeadmasterRonnie Kay Yen Cheng (2012 - present)
Faculty136 teachers[2]
GradesG7 (Form 1) – G12 (Form 6)
Campus size50,000 m (160,000 ft)
Colour(s)Navy blue, white and red
NewspaperNot Rigmarole (粹聞)
YearbookSteps (集思)
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese拔萃男書院
Simplified Chinese拔萃男书院


The first foundationEdit

In 1860, Mrs Lydia Smith (wife of the Bishop of Victoria) and the Society for the Promotion of Female Education in the Far East (Also known as Female Education Society, or "FES")[6] set up the Diocesan Native Female Training School, a day-school turned boarding school for native girls, affiliated with the Diocese of Victoria. As stated in its first annual report, the purpose of the school was "to introduce among a somewhat superior class of native females the blessings of Christianity and of religious training". The school sat on Bonham Road, a small concrete house on a paddy field.[7] Lady Robinson (the Governor's wife) became the patron.[8]

The school had a difficult existence. The Second Opium War aroused strong anti-British sentiment and so it was very unpopular for Chinese girls to learn English.[9] The school was closed and then reopened under the name "Diocesan Female School", but its finances did not improve. In 1868, Bishop Charles Alford took the school under his immediate superintendence.[7]

The second foundationEdit

19th centuryEdit

On 30 January 1869, in a bid to gain popular support, Bishop Alford issued an appeal to admit boys into the school and to turn it into an orphanage. The appeal was well received by the public. In September, the Diocesan Home and Orphanage, for boys and girls, both foreign and Chinese, was established.[10]

In July 1870, William Arthur, formerly of the Garrison School, was appointed as the headmaster and Mrs Arthur as the matron.[7]

In 1878, the school was placed in the grant-in-aid scheme by the Education Department.

In March 1878, Arthur resigned. Bishop Burdon proposed to stop admitting boys into the school and to bring it under the FES. In July, he withdrew his proposal following pressure from William Beswick, honorary treasurer of the DHO, although the Bishop still thought it inappropriate to have boys and girls boarding in the same school campus.[11]

On 1 November 1878, George Piercy, then master of the Government Central School, was appointed to be the new headmaster.[12] Piercy focused on the students' academics, and the school attained satisfactory results in the Cambridge and Oxford Local Examinations scholarships.[13]

On 31 May 1879, the school committee resolved to stop accepting girls as boarders.

In 1891, the school was renamed the Diocesan School and Orphanage. In 1892, the remaining girls were transferred to Fairlea Girls' School (a forerunner of Heep Yunn School). The Diocesan School and Orphanage was transformed into a boys' school.[11]

Early 20th centuryEdit

In 1902, the school was renamed the Diocesan Boys' School and Orphanage.[14] It is unclear when the school was renamed the Diocesan Boys' School, although the name was used as early as 1918.[15]

Rev. William Featherstone, headmaster from 1918 to 1931, introduced the prefects' system, a house system and Speech Day. He also moved the school from Bonham Road to a hill site in Mong Kok. Construction was completed in 1926. In February 1927, the British military authorities took the school for use as a hospital for one year.[16]

When war broke out in China in 1937, the school 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 and polished shoes for teachers and students.[17] In 1939, there was a school strike when a student of Japanese citizenship was appointed as head prefect.[18]

During the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, most of the school staff, including then-headmaster Gerald Goodban, were imprisoned. The school building was transformed into a military hospital for soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army.

Post-war yearsEdit

Imperial Japan surrendered in August 1945. The school remained under the control of the Kempeitai until November, when all the Japanese soldiers were captured.

On 21 March 1946, J. L. YoungSaye, a senior teacher, got the school to run again. Oswald Cheung and B. J. Monks took up the post of acting headmaster successively. Goodban returned from England on 19 November 1947. Repairs started during the Christmas holidays.

In 1949, Goodban introduced a new house system in which houses were named after former headmasters, along with the Piercy Challenge Shield.[19]

In early 1950s, construction plans for a gymnasium, a Carnegie Hall (the old art room beside the demolished gymnasium) and a science wing were proposed.[20]

In 1955, Canon George Zimmern, also known as George She, was appointed the next headmaster, the first Hong Kong-born old boy to be given the role. As headmaster, Canon She welcomed students from poor households and affirmed the Chinese language in school culture.[21] Canon She also introduced the Garden Fête in 1955.

It was decided that the primary classes should be dropped for lack of space and that a completely new primary school - Diocesan Preparatory School - would be built, although the decision was only implemented in 1969.[22]

James Lowcock became headmaster in 1961. He brought the school to excel in athletics. Based on his previous experience in the school, he restructured the administration to improve efficiency and appointed more teachers to posts with designated duties.

In 1983, Jacland Lai succeeded Lowcock as headmaster. He brought the school to excel in extra-curricular activities and competitions. A language laboratory and a demonstration room were built. The electrics and alarm installations were renovated, the school walls repainted, and the facilities were computerised throughout the school.

The MillenniumEdit

In 2002, Lai was succeeded by Terence Chang, an old boy and then-headmaster of Jockey Club Ti-I College.

On 4 October 2002, the school committee proposed to join the Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS) with effect from September 2003. The application was accepted by the Education and Manpower Bureau in March 2003.[23] The DSS was fiercely debated within the School throughout 2002. Chang was highly in favour of joining the DSS,[24] but some students and most teachers opposed the DSS because they were afraid it would shut out students from poorer families. Old boys on the whole were slightly inclined towards the DSS. The school claimed that parents were in favour, though its findings have since been criticised as biased.[25]

A primary school was built beside the secondary school campus. The project was financed by the government as part of the deal that saw the school join the DSS.[26] The Diocesan Boys' School Primary Division (DBSPD) had its first, partial intake of students in 2004 and expanded its intake with students aged between 6 and 12 over the following years.

In April 2012, Diocesan Boys' School became the first secondary school in Hong Kong to have a school app on iOS and Android.

In September 2012, Chang retired and Ronnie Kay Yen Cheng – an old boy who had been the conductor of the school choirs – succeeded him as headmaster.

In 2019, the school introduced a refresh to the school uniform. The new uniform now features black trousers, two new types of overcoats for winter, a new tracksuit and new shorts for physical education lessons.

In May 2020, the school became the world's No.1 International Baccalaureate school, with an average mark of 42.[27]

Heads and housesEdit

Roster of headsEdit

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 1865–1866
4. Ms. M.J. Oxlad 岳士列女士 1867–1868 Simultaneously the superintendent of the Baxter Schools.
Second Foundation
1. William Monarch Burnside Arthur 雅瑟   1870–1878 Co-educational period.
2. George H. Piercy 俾士 1878–1918 A boys' school was transformed in 1891.[clarification needed]
3. Rev. William T. Featherstone 費瑟士東   1918–1931 The campus was moved from the Island to Kowloon in 1926.
Henry du Toit Pyner 派納 1931 –1932, acting Mr. Pyner was a botanist and introduced various kinds of plants to the new campus.
4. Rev. Christopher Birdwood Roussel Sargent 舒展 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   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   1946, acting Sir Oswald, a Eurasian and an old boy, 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   1946, acting
5. Gerald Archer Goodban 葛賓   1946–1955
B. J. MONKS 孟克士   1955, acting
6. Rev. George Samuel Zimmern (aka Canon George She)[28] 施玉麒 [Zh]   1955–1961 Canon She was the first Eurasian and old boy to become headmaster.
7. Sydney James Lowcock 郭慎墀 [Zh] 1961–1983 Lowcock was the first headmaster with a degree from a local university (HKU).
8. Jacland Lai Chak Lun 黎澤倫 [Zh] 1983–2000 The first Chinese headmaster.
9. Terence Chang Cheuk Cheung 張灼祥 [Zh] 2000–2012 Introduced five 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 for sports and drama competitions. All the students were divided among four clubs: the Green, the Blue, the Yellow and the Brown. 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 Henry Sykes, who was the second master from 1898 to 1920.

In 1955, Canon She founded the new Goodban House to commemorate his predecessor. Lowcock House was added in 2002.[29] In 2004, the Class of '58 fund-raised for a new house in memory of the late Canon George She.[30] In September 2011, the George She House was created.

The houses and their colours are displayed on the right.

School badge and school hymnEdit

School badgeEdit

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.

School hymnEdit

The Diocesan Boys' School Hymn[31]
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 in September 2007, with running track on school field. Behind the school field is the campus of the Primary Division.
The running track in March 2012
Sign at the bottom of the school drive in March 2012

Diocesan Boys' School has a large campus located on Kadoorie Hill in Ho Man Tin.

It is in Kowloon City District.[32]


  • The Main Building was built in 1926. It houses many classrooms, the school hall, the general office, the covered playground, the George She Christian Centre, the Music Room, the canteen and the tuck shop. It is shaped like the Chinese character "主". Between the horizontal strokes of the character, there is a parking lot (for staff), a grass field in front of the tuck shop, a rock garden (built in 1926, redesigned in 1955 by former art teacher Mr Y. T. Kwong, and subsequently redesigned again in 2020), and a glass dining hall pavilion for boarding students. The top floor of the main building formerly served as the boarding house for students until 2007, when all boarders moved to the Samuel Tak Lee Building and the premises was repurposed.
  • The Science Wing, the New Wing, and the New New Wing, built in the 1956, 1961, and 1968 respectively, to house more classrooms and laboratories. The New Wing houses the NSS library and lecture hall. The New New Wing has some laboratories and classrooms for G8 and G9.
  • The Gymnasium, built in 1951, was demolished in the late 2000s to make way for the auditorium (see below). The small barbecue pit next to the building was kept and now sits next to the auditorium.
  • The Headmaster's Residence, built in 1952, was demolished in the late 1990s to make way for the Primary Division (see below).

Five new buildings were built between 2004 and 2012, when Terence Chang was headmaster. The buildings were designed by architect Thomas Chow (an old boy of the class of 1975), who won three awards from the Hong Kong Institute of Architects: two "Medal of the Year" awards (for his work on the Primary Division and on the Samuel Tak Lee Building respectively) and one "Merit Award – Community Building" (for his work on the Michiko Miyakawa Building and the Yunni and Maxine Pao Auditorium).

  • The Primary Division was opened in 2004. It includes, among other facilities, thirty classrooms, computer rooms, an assembly hall, a covered playground, two basketball courts, and an outdoor amphitheater.
  • The Mrs Tsai Ming Sang Building (a.k.a. the S.I.P. (School Improvement Project Building), built in 2005, houses a sky garden, 10 more classrooms for G7 and G8, laboratories, 3 multi-media learning centers, and a large staff room. "S.I.P." stands for "School Improvement Programme".
  • The Samuel Tak Lee Building (a.k.a. the Sports and Dormitory Complex), named after a wealthy donor (an old boy of the class of 1958), was opened in 2008 to house dormitories and common rooms for boarders, as well as a 25-metre indoor swimming pool, a new gymnasium, weight lifting facilities and additional classrooms for day boys.
  • The Michiko Miyakawa Building (a.k.a. the I.B. Building) opened in 2011 to provide classrooms for the newly introduced International Baccalaureate section. It contains St Augustine's Chapel and the Ronald J. Chao Library amongst labs and classrooms for the IB students.
  • The Yunni and Maxine Pao Auditorium, built on the site of the old gymnasium, opened in 2012. It houses the 800-seat Yip Kit Chuen Concert Hall, a couple of art galleries, and several other multi-purpose rooms.

Other facilitiesEdit

  • The Drive is a long, winding road leading up the hill from Argyle Street to the southern entrance of the school. Alongside the Drive runs a footpath which is now called the Rev. George She Path to honour the headmaster who built it in the late 1950s.
  • The Steps are a set of long and steep steps leading from Prince Edward Road West to the northern entrance of the school.
  • The Field is a large football field used for PE lessons and school team training sessions. It is located between the New Wing and the Primary Division. It has undergone a transition to become a 4th generation artificial turf, completed in October 2016 at the price of $18M. The Chi Track is a 280-meter, 4-lane round track circling the field. For decades it had been a cricket field with a cricket pitch, until the laying of the track. The field and the track were completely redone in 2006 at a cost of $5M. 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. There is also an old cricket scoreboard near the spectator area, it is a remnant of DBS' cricket days, when DBS was a noted cricket ground and centre in Hong Kong. In 2018, the school added an electronic display near the outdoor swimming pool facing the secondary school.
  • Next to the Field there is a 25-metre outdoor swimming pool. Students mostly use the indoor pool, but the outdoor pool is still frequently used by primary division.
  • There is a basketball court in the middle of the campus and two tennis courts on the south side of the campus (replacing two old ones which used to lie on the north side of the campus).
  • A small barbecue pit sits on the high ground next to the auditorium. A tall stone tablet stands there with the school motto written on it.


The school uses English as the main language for instruction, although certain subjects (other than Chinese itself) use Chinese.

Currently, both the Primary and Secondary Division follow the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority's curriculum. Students start off with a common curriculum in Grades 7 to 9. After then, most 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. Another batch of Grade 10 students fall into the Pre-International Baccalaureate (Pre-IB) programme if they choose. 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.

The Pre-IB and IB programmes 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".[33]

Extracurricular activitiesEdit


The Diocesan Boys' School excels at sport. School teams 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), beach volleyball (Grand Slam in 2016/17 & 2018/19), cross country (Grand Slam in 2017/18 & 2018/19), fencing (Grand Slam in 2015/16 & 2016/17), football (Grand Slam in 2017/18 & 2018/19), Handball (Grand Slam in 2017/18), hockey, indoor rowing (Grand Slam in 2013/14 & 2018/19), life saving, rugby sevens, softball, squash, swimming, table tennis (Grand Slam in 1960/61 & 2017/18), tennis, tenpin bowling and volleyball (Grand Slam in 1977/78 in the Kowloon area, in 2017/18 & 2018/19).[34][35]

The school's athletics, life saving, swimming and tennis teams have each won more than half of the Overall Championships in the history of their event:

  • Athletics – 39 Championships in 57 years, 11 Grand Slams (1979/80, 1980/81, 1990/91, 1991/92, 1992/93, 1996/97, 1997/98, 2003/04, 2005/06, 2013/14 & 2014/15)
  • Swimming – 35 Championships in 54 years, 10 Grand Slams (1966/67, 1994/95, 1996/97, 2005/06, 2007/08, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2016/17, 2018/19 & 2019/20)
  • Tennis – 42 Championships in 67 years
  • Life saving – 30 Championships in 49 years, 24 Grand Slams (1975/76, 1982/83, 1992/93, 1993/94 & 1995/96 - 2014/15)

Recently, the school has won the Inter-School Swimming Competition for a record 27 consecutive years and the Inter-School Tennis Competition for a record 19 consecutive years (straight wins every year). Athletics team was crowned the Overall Champion for a record 7 consecutive years between 2003/04 and 2009/10, and life saving team was crowned the Overall Champion for a record 23 consecutive years between 1992/93 and 2014/15.

In 2013/14, the school 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 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 2016/17, the school won a record 14 Open Grade/Overall Championships again in Athletics, Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Cross Country, Fencing, Football, Handball, Indoor Rowing, Life Saving, Squash, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis and Volleyball.

In 2017/18, the school won a record 3 Jing Ying Team Championships again in Basketball, Handball and Volleyball.

In 2018/19, the school won a record 6 Grand Slams in Beach Volleyball, Cross Country, Football, Indoor Rowing, Swimming and Volleyball.

In March 2003, the school football team made history by becoming the Champion of the All Hong Kong Schools Jing Ying Football Tournament as a Division Three team. It was the first Division Three team ever to achieve this feat.

The school is the leader in terms of the number of Omega Rose Bowl/BOCHK Bauhinia Bowl won in the Boys Schools Section with 27 victories. The BOCHK Bauhinia Bowl, previously known as Omega Rose Bowl, is the annual award to member secondary schools of the Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Secondary Schools Regional Committee achieving the best all-round performance from all sporting events organised by the Regional Committee each year.


The Diocesan Boys' School Music Department contains six choirs, a full symphony orchestra, string and wind orchestras, a Chinese orchestra, and many chamber ensembles.[36][failed verification] Each ensemble is led by at least a Chairman, a vice-Chairman and other officials if deemed necessary.


Founded in 1956 by Rev’d George She, a former Headmaster of the school, the Diocesan Boys’ School Symphony Orchestra (originally the DBS Orchestra) is one of the most historic orchestras in Hong Kong. While early performances consisted of only 18 members, with King Man Lo MBE, JP as the conductor, the Orchestra currently has over 90 musicians, and is the most frequent “Champion” of the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival Symphony Orchestra (Senior) Category ever since the founding of the competition. The orchestra is best known for its performances of music from the 19th century, including Richard Strauss tone poems, as well as various Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, and Brahms symphonies. Having performed extensively in Hong Kong, the Orchestra has collaborated with artists such as conductors Marin Alsop, Kristjan Järvi, Neil Varon and Wilson Ng, violinists Leo Phillips, Chuan-yun Li, Renée Jolles and Christoph Koncz, violists Born Lau and Andrew Ling, harpist Catherine Michel and pianist Colleen Lee. In addition, the Orchestra has also performed at prestigious venues such as the Great Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna, the John F. Kennedy Centre for the Per- forming Arts and the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C., the Smetana Hall in Prague, the Pesti Vigadó in Budapest and the Hong Kong Cultural Centre (as part of the Hong Kong Arts Festival).

Recent performances include Richard Strauss' Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche (2009), Mahler's Symphony No. 1 (2010), Brahms' Symphony No. 1 (2011), Stravinsky's Firebird Suite (2011), Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 (2012), Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 (2012, 2015), Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 (2013), Prokofiev's Symphony No.1 "Classical" (2014), Mahler's Symphony No.5 (2014), Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Overture (2015), Brahms' Symphony No.2 (2015), Rachmaninov's Symphony No. 2 (2016), Brahms' Symphony No. 4 (2017, 2019), Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 "Pathétique" (2018), Richard Strauss' Don Juan (2019), Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 (2019).

In April 2015, the Orchestra premiered Flights Ascending by American composer Heather Gilligan at the John F. Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts.

The DBS Strings Orchestra is one of the divisions from the DBS Orchestra. Since 2007, it has been a conductor-less orchestra. It is known by many as the 'house of elite string players'. It is currently under the guidance of Mr. Andrew Ling, the principal violist of HK Phil.

Founded in 2000, the DBS Wind Orchestra is another division from the DBS Orchestra. It is currently conducted by Mr. Victor Tam, a Hong Kong-based oboist.

Recent wins at the Hong Kong Schools Music FestivalEdit
  • Symphony Orchestra (Senior)
  • Concert Band (Senior)
  • Woodwind Ensemble (Senior)
  • Piano Ensemble


  • Symphony Orchestra (Senior)
  • Strings Orchestra (Senior)
  • Concert Band (Senior)
  • Strings Ensemble (Senior)
  • Woodwind Ensemble (Senior)
  • Woodwind Ensemble (Junior)
  • Brass Ensemble


  • Concert Band (Senior)
  • Strings Ensemble (Senior)
  • Woodwind Ensemble (Senior)


  • Symphony Orchestra (Senior)
  • Strings Orchestra (Senior)
  • Concert Band (Senior)
  • Strings Ensemble (Senior)
  • Strings Ensemble (Junior)
  • Woodwind Ensemble (Senior)
  • Woodwind Ensemble (Junior)
  • Brass Ensemble


  • Symphony Orchestra (Senior)
  • Strings Orchestra (Senior)
  • Concert Band (Senior)
  • Piano Ensemble
  • Woodwind Ensemble (Senior)
  • Woodwind Ensemble (Junior)
  • Brass Ensemble


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


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


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


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


  • 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. The Treble Choir is currently conducted by Mr. Sanders Lau, while the other choirs all conducted by Mr. Felix Shuen.

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

Recent achievementsEdit
  • Hong Kong Schools Music Festival
  • Best Mixed Choir of the Year


  • World Choir Games[37]
  • Male Choirs World Champion; Gold Medal
  • Mixed Choirs World Champion; Gold Medal
  • Musica Sacra with Accompaniment 3rd Place; Gold Medal
  • Hong Kong Schools Music Festival[38]
  • Best Boys' Choir of the Year
  • 臺灣國際管樂節 2018
  • 國際管樂菁英大賽 室內樂(青少年組)
  • 金牌獎(木管樂五重奏)
  • 金牌獎(薩氏管四重奏)


  • Hong Kong Schools Music Festival[39]
  • Best Boys' Choir of the Year
  • Best Mixed Choir of the Year
  • Best Junior Choir of the Year
  • Most Outstanding Secondary Choir of the Year
  • Church Music Choir 1st Place


  • Best Boys' Choir of the Year
  • Best Mixed Choir of the Year
  • Church Music Choir 1st Place


  • Hong Kong Schools Music Festival
  • Best Boys' Choir of the Year
  • Best Mixed Choir of the Year
  • Most Outstanding Secondary Choir of the Year
  • Church Music Choir 1st Place


  • Hong Kong Schools Music Festival
  • Best Boys' Choir of the Year
  • Best Junior Choir of the Year
  • World Choir Games[40]
  • Young Male Choirs World Champion; Gold Medal
  • Musica Sacra with Accompaniment 2nd Place; Gold Medal
  • Mixed Youth Choirs 2nd Place; Gold Medal


  • Hong Kong Schools Music Festival
  • Best Boys' Choir of the Year
  • Best Mixed Choir of the Year


  • Hong Kong Schools Music Festival
  • Best Boys' Choir of the Year
  • Best Mixed Choir of the Year
  • Most Outstanding School Award
  • World Choir Games[41]
  • Young Male Choirs World Champion; Gold Medal
  • Musica Sacra 2nd Place; Gold Medal


  • 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
  • International Brahms Choir Competition[42]
  • Brahms Grand Prize
  • Mixed Voice Champion; Gold Medal
  • Male Choirs Champion; Gold Medal


  • Hong Kong Schools Music Festival
  • Best Boys' Choir of the Year
  • Best Mixed Choir of the Year
  • Most Outstanding Secondary Choir of the Year
  • World Choir Games[43]
  • Young Male Choirs World Champion; Gold Medal
  • Musica Sacra World Champion; Gold Medal

Chinese MusicEdit

The Diocesan Boys' School Chinese Orchestra (DBSCO; Chinese: 拔萃男書院國樂會) originated from a Pipa Ensemble back in the 1950s and developed into a full orchestra in the 1960s. 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) , Mr. MA Tai Cho (馬太初) and Mr. KONG Sin Hei (江先曦) are the teachers-in-charge of DBSCO and Mr. KWOK Hang-kei is the Principal Conductor and Artistic 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.

In the summer of 2017, the Orchestra participated in the first "Nanyang Music Competition 2017" in Singapore and won three awards, including the first group of the non-professional ensemble gold medals in the group, and the non-professional ensemble group silver. In addition, the whole team of the Diocesan Boys School Chinese Orchestra, with the interpretation of Guo Hengji's work "The Love of Xiangjiang ", won the second place in the youth band gold medal, glory for Hong Kong.

The plucking team also won 17 prizes in 13 students participating in the "Nanfeng Cup International Competition" in the summer of 2018. They also won 4 overall championships in 5 competition groups and served as the closing concert after the competition. Invited guests to perform.

Student OrganisationsEdit

Prefects' Board and Boarding Prefects[44]Edit

The Prefects' Board was established in 1916 and continues to serve an important function within the school: as its oldest student organisation, prefects are an integral part of everyday school life. They are selected from senior form students and are expected to lead the school in inter-school events, organise functions for the school and uphold discipline within the school on a daily basis. Being tasked to enforce discipline, prefects are allowed to punish students by requiring them to copy lines from the school rules, a system that is unique in Hong Kong. The Board is led by the Senior Prefect: under him is the Second Prefect of Activities and the Second Prefect of Discipline. Each year in December during the Christmas service, the Candlelight Ceremony signifies the transition of the previous year's board to the new board, with a new Senior Prefect elected by the teachers and other Prefects. Students may apply to become a Junior Prefect in the latter half of F.4 or a Prefect in F.5, to which an internal selection process will be undertaken to determine suitable candidates for holding office. It is common for the Senior Prefects team to have been promoted from a Junior Prefect due to the longer serving time within the Board and experience in duties. Prefects are also in charge of writing and publishing Not Rigmarole, a bi-annual school magazine.

The Boarding School holds a separate Prefects' Board thought it is common for Prefects serving in the day system to serve as Boarding Prefect too if they are a boarder. Boarding Prefects hold a different badge (a "B" badge with a light pink background" compared with the "P" badge with a red background by Day Prefects) and have an entirely different set of duties. Boarding Prefects whilst retain the ability to punish boarders to copying lines, are limited to only exercising their authority within the Boarding School. Boarding Prefects are tasked with organising key events within the Boarding Calendar, including the annual Christmas treasure hunt, BBQ evening, annual pillow fight etc. Similar to the day Prefects, the Boarding Prefects are led by a Head Prefect, a Second Prefect of Activities and a Second Prefect of Discipline. Boarders are invited to vote for the Head Prefect, after voting the Head Prefect will appoint the two Second Prefects.

Student Council[45]Edit

Established at the beginning of the 21st century, the Student Council is a democratically elected body by the student population at the beginning of each academic year. Their main function is to organise events throughout the year for students to participate in, such as inter-class competitions in sports and the end of year ball. The Student Council is composed of four main posts, the president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer. Alongside, there is a body of committee members to help deliver events that the Student Council has planned.

Audio Visual Team

Established in the late 1970s, the Audio and Visual Team (AVT) plays a key role in the school's delivery of videos and ensuring a smooth operation of lighting during events such as Speech Day and Concerts. During inter-school sporting events, the AVT is in charge of delivering livestream broadcasts on the school's YouTube channel.

Steps Editorial Team

Steps (the name of the school staircase) is an annual yearbook published, documenting all events that have happened across the school year. Led by a Chief Editor, the team works in close conjunction the Photography Team to ensure that the publication can be smoothly delivered. To achieve this, the Steps team have an office located at the end of the Prefects' Corridor for page setting, drafting and handling.


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

DBS counts a total of 11 winners of the Hong Kong Outstanding Students Awards,[46] ranking eighth among all secondary schools in Hong Kong.

Alumni by fieldEdit

Politics and civil serviceEdit

Dr. Sun Yat-sen in 1924



Education and academiaEdit

Arts and entertainmentEdit

Mass culture and journalismEdit



  • Norman Chan, a prominent architect who founded BTR Workshop

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ School Information Search & School Lists Archived 5 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine Education Bureau, The Government of the Hong Kong
  2. ^ "Diocesan Boys' School – Teaching Staff Information". Committee on Home-School Co-operation. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  3. ^ ""French Week" at Diocesan Boys' School Primary Division". Consulate General of France in Hong Kong & Macau.
  4. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=PPcja7-W1yQC&pg=PA100&lpg=PA100&dq=diocesan+boys%27+school+prestigious&source=bl&ots=-G3BVSGsQW&sig=kxp9mto4HLQxQwHDFEWR0Ks2cnI&hl=zh-TW&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi5p7Kklr7RAhXCNpQKHQ6gAZYQ6AEIVzAI#v=onepage&q=diocesan%20boys'%20school%20prestigious&f=false , Education and Society in Hong Kong and Macao. Comparative Perspectives on Continuity and Change
  5. ^ http://www2.dbs.edu.hk/dbsfoundation/index.php?sid=41
  6. ^ Lee Jane (2018). "Anglican Women and Social Service in Hong Kong". In Chiu, Patricia; Wong, Wai-Ching Angela (eds.). Christian women in Chinese society : the Anglican story. Hong Kong. pp. 239–251. ISBN 978-988-8455-37-9. OCLC 1066226424.
  7. ^ a b c Featherstone, p.1
  8. ^ Featherstone, p.14
  9. ^ 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
  10. ^ Featherstone, p.99
  11. ^ a b Featherstone, p.48
  12. ^ Featherstone, p.103
  13. ^ Featherstone, p.3
  14. ^ Featherstone, p.129
  15. ^ Fung and Chan-Yeung, p.48
  16. ^ Featherstone, p.5
  17. ^ Steps, Diocesan Boys' School, 1938
  18. ^ W. J. Smyly, A History of the Diocesan Boys' School (unpublished manuscript circa 1967)
  19. ^ Steps, Diocesan Boys' School, 1949
  20. ^ Steps, Diocesan Boys' School, 1954
  21. ^ George She Memorial Dedicated at DBS Archived 8 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine, DSOBA
  22. ^ Headmaster’s Report, Steps, Diocesan Boys' School, 1970
  23. ^ DBS School Committee Minutes 6 June 2003
  24. ^ Terence Chang, "Why Direct Subsidy Scheme?", South China Morning Post 16 March 2002
  25. ^ Fung and Chan-Yeung, p.149-152
  26. ^ DBS School Committee minutes 10 November 1998
  27. ^ Global Top IB Schools 2020
  28. ^ 知時好雨, 潤物無聲 Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine Nicholas L. Chan, Ta Kung Pao, 23 November 2004 (in Chinese)
  29. ^ Report on the New Lowcock House Archived 7 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Diocesan Old Boys' Association, 2002
  30. ^ 知時好雨, 潤物無聲 Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine Nicholas L. Chan, Ta Kung Pao, 24 November 2004 (in Chinese)
  31. ^ http://www.dbs.edu.hk/index.php?section=aboutdbs&sub=schoolhymn
  32. ^ "Kowloon City District Map" (PDF). Electoral Affairs Commission. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  33. ^ 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 (in Chinese)
  34. ^ Hong Kong Schools Sports Association 40th Anniversary. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Schools Sports Association. 1991.
  35. ^ http://www.hkssf-hk.org.hk/hk/sec/champion.htm
  36. ^ Diocesan Boys' School Music Department Official Facebook Page. Accessed 2020-02-24.
  37. ^ "Competition Results". Interkultur. Accessed 2018-08-04.
  38. ^ "Competition Results". Hong Kong Schools Music and Speech Association. Accessed 2019-01-04.
  39. ^ "Competition Results". Hong Kong Schools Music and Speech Association. Accessed 2019-01-04.
  40. ^ "Results." Interkultur. Accessed 2018-08-04.
  41. ^ "7th World Choir Games." Interkultur. Accessed 2018-08-06.
  42. ^ "7th International Johannes Brahms Choir Festival & Competition." Interkultur. Accessed 2018-08-06.
  43. ^ "6th World Choir Games." Interkultur. Accessed 2018-08-06.
  44. ^ "Diocesan Boys' School Prefects' Board". facebook.com. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  45. ^ Fung, Yee Wang; Chan-Yeung, Mo Wah Moira (1 November 2009). To Serve and to Lead: History of the Diocesan Boys' School in Hong Kong. Hong Kong University Press. ISBN 978-962-209-998-2.
  46. ^ Past Awardees
  47. ^ "虎战. 驼峰险. 乱世情" (PDF). China National Aviation Corporation.
  48. ^ 羅旭龢 香港實業家, Luoshi.net (羅氏通譜網), 10 September 2004 (in Chinese)
  49. ^ Shih, Gerry (27 February 2011). "In Mayoral Race, Yee Makes Name for Himself as a Loner and a Workhorse". The New York Times.
  50. ^ http://www.chinesehospital-sf.org/senior-leadership-team
  51. ^ Diocesan Boys' School Seventy Years Ago, by W.J. Howard
  52. ^ HKU Honorary Graduates University of Hong Kong
  53. ^ "Judicial appointment". info.gov.hk. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  54. ^ Electoral Affairs Commission Membership Electoral Affairs Commission
  55. ^ "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.
  56. ^ 陳榮捷小傳, Kaiping District Government, People's Republic of China (in Chinese)
  57. ^ 陳培勳簡介 Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Government, Taiwan Republic of China (in Chinese)
  58. ^ An Interview with our New Dean Professor Sum-ping Lee, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong
  59. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFCiDobHu_Q , 蘋果動新聞 - 至潮神級醫生 救人不為金

Further readingEdit

  • 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 978-962-209-998-2

External linksEdit