• Flower Pots Decoration Workshop

    The DOGA Art Club hosted a morning and an afternoon flower pot decoration workshop on Jun 24. We were amazed by the creativity everyone demonstrated in decorating a set of large and small terracotta pots
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  • Macaron Baking Workshop (8 July, 2017)

    The macaron baking workshop was held on 8th July at The Mixing Bowl. It was a cozy fun-filled afternoon with 17 participants including some mothers and daughters behind the baking counter. They had a great
    Read More
  • Netball Festival 2017

    On September 16th, the DOGA Netball Team participated in the Celebrations of the 20th Anniversary Establishment of the HKSAR - Netball Festival 2017 organised by the Hong Kong Netball Association. Despite the strong sun and a
    Read More
  • Membership Sub-Committee Interest Group Networking Events

    DOGA Legal Group held its inaugural networking event on 24th June. It was an occasion where alumnae working in different legal professions from the class of 1981 to 2016 had the unique opportunity to get
    Read More
  • Mother’s and Father’s Day Calligraphy Workshop

    On 13th May, the DOGA Art Club hosted Mother’s and Father’s Day calligraphy workshops featuring Kaye Shu from K’s Calligraphy 舒法. The two sessions attracted 62 alumnae and their families to attend. The morning session
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News Updates

  • 1 DOGA Art Club: Urban Sketching on 3 March
  • 2 Chinese Bakery on 10 March
  • 3 Congratulations to Mrs Stella Lau JP
  • 4 Events Calendar
  • Urban Sketching is an act of drawing while on location to document the world around you. The Urban Sketching community has skyrocketed in popularity in the past 10 years with sketchcrawls happening all over the world.

    The Art club will be organizing the very first sketchcrawl in our familiar 1 Jordan Road campus. Please come and join the fun and take this opportunity to capture the school campus with your own sketches.

    For details please refer to the link below:

    Date: 3 March 2018 (Saturday)
    Time: 10:00am – 1:00pm
    Cost: HK$50 for DOGA member or each of her immediate family
    HK$80 for non-DOGA member or each of her immediate family member
    Venue: DOGA room

    Registration will start at 9:00am on 11 February 2018 (Sunday)
    . DOGA membership number is required to qualify for the member price. Priority will be given to members. Spaces are limited and first come first serve, maximum of 30 participants only, so remember to sign up. See you there!

    Kindly follow below link to register: https://goo.gl/forms/Xl51kKkozZBB6bUN2

    Some reminders for the event:
    1. Each person can register for

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  • Welcome to the Year of the Dog! Are you still indulging in the mood of Chinese New Year with various kinds of traditional food? Want to try baking your own "Lo Por cake 老婆餅" and egg tart to cheer your family?

    The Social Committee has kindly arranged a baking workshop with a veteran Chinese Bakery Kee Wah in Hong Kong on March 10th. Two different workshops have been arranged for your choice. You could choose to bring your kid to join for the egg tart session in the afternoon.

    Date: 10 March 2018 (Saturday)

    Workshop A: 10:00am - 12:30 pm; baking of Lo Por cake (for adult only);

    Workshop B: 3:30pm - 6:00pm; baking of egg tart (for adult / adult with a child under 12)

    Place: Kee Wah Studio Workshop, 2/F, 188 Queen's Road East, Wanchai, HK

    Cost: Workshop A: HK$300; Workshop B: HK$300 or HK$380 (with a child under 12)

    Language: Cantonese

    For registration of the workshop, please download the form and read the details from

    As seats are limted, please act now to secure your registration. See you

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  • DOGA would like to extend our warmest congratulations to our alumna and DGS headmistress, Mrs Stella Lau JP, on her award of the Silver Bauhinia Star (SBS) from the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region. The Silver Bauhinia Star is awarded to persons who have taken a leading part in public affairs and/or voluntary work over a long period of time. Mrs Lau is awarded the SBS for her distinguished public service, and in particular, her valuable contribution towards the promotion of interests and well-being of women in Hong Kong.

    Read More
  • Upcoming Events

    March 3 DOGA Art Club: Urban Sketching
    March 5 Introduction of DOGA to S6 graduates
    March 10 Chinese Bakery
    March 24 Class Rep & New Members Tea Gathering
    March DOGA Netball League
    April 21 Support of DGS Career Fair
    April Inter-school Alumnae Badminton Competition
    May 5 Art Club Mother's & Father's Day Event
    May DOGA Netball Team in Festival of Sports
    Community Chest Dumplings-Making Workshop
    Social Sub-committee event
    June 16 Dr. Symons Scholarship Selection
    June DOGA AGM
    Finance Group drinks
    Visit to S6 Graduation Dinner
    July 5 Art Club Summer Event
    July Support of S5 Job Shadowing Programme
    Read More

Interview with Mrs. Cicely Kotewall Zimmern -
A Recollection of Memories of DGS in the 1930's

It was a warm sunny afternoon as our interview team met and entered the doors of Mrs. Zimmern's apartment. There she stood eagerly awaiting us, all changed and prepared for the occasion of our long-awaited interview. Mrs. Zimmern held in her fragile hands some notes she had written and started to take the lead in talking the moment everyone sat down. To our surprise, she spoke perfect Cantonese throughout in a very lively manner and occasionally broke out in little giggles as some thoughts flashed across her mind.




Early days of Mrs. Zimmern in DGS uniform (1930's)>>

"I am the eighth daughter in the family. After me came my brother, the only son of the family, followed by Patsy (mother of Kim Fenton, and grandmother of Robyn Lamsam, who all attended DGS)."

"At our time, schooling was not as strictly regimented as nowadays. Classes were not divided according to age, but according to academic standard. When I entered DGS, I was placed into Grade 8 as I knew not a single word of English. St. Paul's where I went prior to DGS, was taught totally in Chinese. DGS however was taught wholly in English."

DGS in those days, according to Mrs. Zimmern, was not divided into Junior and Senior School. Students were placed in Grade 10 to 1, with Grade 10 being the lowest. Having graduated from Grade 1 you would then go on to university level. There were about 15 to 20 girls in one class and all the students sat together in one big hall. The clever ones got to sit in the front row closer to the teacher. Some of the ones in the back row may end up sitting there for several years.

"When I first joined DGS, Miss Sawyer was the headmistress. Every morning, she would stand on a high chair and bellow out each girl's name to take the school roll call, and we had to call out 'Present'. I was terrified of her, as I did not understand any English."

However, it did not take Mrs. Zimmern long to learn some English from the friends she made at school. These were the girls who also lived on the Hong Kong Island like she did. They would cross the Star Ferry each morning (at $0.25 per trip) as a school bus awaited them at the Ferry to take them back to 1 Jordan Road in time. The Hong Kong girls became a close and friendly community. Some were Chinese and some were English or Portuguese who could converse in Cantonese which they had learnt from their Chinese amahs. They had good fun on this journey and soon, would make use of the ferry ride to collaborate on their homework together instead of doing them independently at home.

So what was school like in those days? Well, school lasted the whole day. A bell would ring after each session to signal a change of activities. The first bell would ring for the Chapel where students had morning prayers and sang hymns. School hymn at that time was "Blessed are the Pure in Heart" (which was also sung at Joyce Symons' Memorial Service recently). Lessons followed afterwards. Lunch was provided by the School at a cost. Everyone ate together at the dining hall - Western style with knife and fork. The menu consisted of potatoes every meal, served with meat, fish or chicken. As there was no tuck shop during those days, students had to bring their own if they wanted a snack during break.

We then prompted Mrs. Zimmern for a view of sports and recreation at that time. "During break and what remained of the lunch time, we chatted and played games. We liked rope games. We also played netball, rounders, basketball and hockey in school. Outside School, I also played tennis and swam (there was no swimming pool at school in those days). I was tall and quite a good sportswoman and good shooter for basketball. This stood me in good stead every year at the Annual Sports Day. We would form our own teams, because there was no system of having "Houses" as you have now. DGS girls were in general quite athletic and energetic. We were known to be good sportswomen, fair, open and fun to be with."

And what about school uniforms in those days? Quite to our surprise the summer uniform was very much like the one we have now, blue and white, except without the cardigan. Mrs. Zimmern explained with pride that they had to wear white shoes and socks and looked very smart indeed. Selina Chan (the youngest member of our interview team) who will be attending DGJS this year, modestly and respectfully presented Mrs. Zimmern with her brand new summer uniform which Mrs. Zimmern examined carefully with a grin on her face.

Young DGS girl showing our present summer uniform

"In the winter, we wore a tunic of dark blue wool. Inside, we wore a white shirt of "Vyella" material which was quite soft and warm. When it was very cold, we were allowed to wear woollen knee socks. We had no school blazers at that time. We could wear a Western style overcoat of our choice but not Chinese padded jackets.

Mrs. Zimmern later explained that the entire School was run by one Headmistress together with four teachers for each subject - English, Mathematics, Botany and Gymnastics. Only the Botany teacher was Chinese, or at least looked Chinese. There were no male teachers during that time.

Although not a School Prefect Mrs. Zimmern was usually asked by Miss Sawyer to collect all the students' exercise books to be graded and distributed afterwards. The best students were acknowledged at the Annual Speech Day.

One of the most popular events was the Annual Bazaar. Mrs. Zimmern vividly exclaimed that there would be all sorts of things to be bought and sold such as scarves, shoes, dishes. She could not recall what else were sold, except than it was great fun and that it was open to the public. All the proceeds went to charity for children and everyone bought generously.

And what were the characteristics of DGS girls in those days? "Well, we were lively and inquisitive girls. We respected our teachers, but were not terrified of them although they were quite strict. DGS had quite a liberal atmosphere, and we were encouraged to use our brains and express our opinion. We like to talk and argue and would giggle in class and chat about everything under the sun."

Later on, Miss Sawyer was succeeded by Miss Gibbons as headmistress, who was referred fondly by the girls as "Gibby". Eventually, with the good education provided by DGS, Mrs. Zimmern graduated with three A's and entered the University of Hong Kong to study Economics. Joyce Symons (known to Mrs. Zimmern as Joyce) was already in HKU before Mrs. Zimmern. After graduating from university, Mrs. Zimmern became a teacher at St. Paul's School before she worked as a secretary at Watsons. Whilst working, she was dated by Archie Zimmern, who was subsequently appointed as a Queen's Counsel and became the first Supreme Court Judge appointed from the local Bar. The Kotewall family survived the War years under the careful planning of their father, Sir Robert Kotewall who was particularly under great pressure to protect the virtue of his nine daughters against the Japanese soldiers. After the War, Cicely and Archie got married (three of the Kotewall sisters eventually married three of the Zimmern brothers!) They have a daughter Annabel, who is a restauranteur and a son Hugh, who is a partner of an international architect firm in Hong Kong.

Even though Joyce Symons was not in the same class as Mrs. Zimmern, the two got on remarkably well. As Cicely Zimmern portrayed, Joyce was kind, clever and great fun to be with. When they traveled together in England, Joyce would tell people in the train that Mrs. Zimmern was a princess, and the gentlemen would give up their seats for her. Joyce also relished on the tale of how she dropped one of her shoes in a LegCo session, and how Sir Maclehose, the Governor of Hong Kong then, embarrassingly retrieved it for her!

Their friendship lasted more than half a century through life's ups and downs. Whenever Joyce visited Hong Kong after her retirement, Cicely would always take her to the horse races. Joyce also invited Cicely to visit her new home which she had bought about three years ago (because she didn't want to live in a 'home'). The new flat was beautifully renovated by her niece and nephew and overlooked a pond with ducklings. Mrs. Zimmern felt that Joyce was able to enjoy peace in her home in her last days. May she rest in peace.







<<A lovely afternoon of chatting

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