Mrs. Elim Lau, M.B.E., J.P., succeeded Dr. Symons as Headmistress of DGS in April 1985 and served for 15 years until her retirement in 1999. Beginning in 1946, she completed her kindergarten, junior and secondary education at DGS. Mrs. Lau returned to DGS as a teacher in 1964 after graduating from university with a post-graduate diploma in teaching.
Mrs. Lau recalled that when she first assumed the job as Headmistress, it was like returning home to where she always belonged. She has always admired and respected Dr. Symons, and put her heart to serve DGS with her best endeavour. She did not regard herself as a Headmistress but rather as a big sister to the students and a leader of a team of dedicated teachers.
When asked to identify her happiest memory of DGS, Mrs. Lau said she cannot pinpoint any particular one. However, she still dreams of her school days and the old wooden staircases. She also treasures the episodes when students approached her as headmistress to share their thoughts and problems. She remembers the 130th Anniversary Open Day, the opening of the two building extensions, and the “King and I” performance as particular highlights of her term as Headmistress. She had a beautiful feeling when she attended the school “Wizard of Oz” performance in July 2000 as many fond memories flashed through her mind.
Mrs. Lau looks back at her years as Headmistress during a time when Hong Kong was experiencing numerous changes. Two of the many challenges she faced were during the June 4 crisis in 1989 and the years working towards 1997. As Headmistress, she had to steer the School forward amidst the crisis, alleviating the concerns of students, teachers and parents while striving towards achieving excellence in both the academic and extra-curricular arenas.
When asked about her upcoming plans, Mrs. Lau says her intention is to lead a simple life after a long career in education. With the exception of attending meetings with Government advisory committees and voluntary agencies, she has no strict timetables to follow. Currently, Mrs. Lau is an appointed member of the Board of the Ocean Park Corporation, Panel Member of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and LP Community Adviser on Performing Arts of the Leisure and Culture Services Dept. Her other voluntary services rendered to the community include serving as Chairman, Basic Competency Assessment Main Committee of the HK Examinations Authority Council, Director of the Hong Kong Adventure Corps, Director of Welfare Handicrafts Ltd. and Member of the Council of Hong Kong International Institute of Educational Leadership as well as its academic board
Mrs. Lau enjoys cooking, travelling and singing in the alumnae choir and her local Church Choir, where she cherishes the joy and fellowship shared with others. She also occasionally plays the organ at Church. Her desire now would be to continue to contribute to society by sharing her experience with others, and she welcomes the opportunity to discuss her thoughts, especially in the field of education.
In the summer of 2000, Mrs. Lau had the wonderful opportunity of attending the class reunion in Honolulu of the Class of 1965, for which she was Form teacher in her first year of teaching.
Mrs. Lau and her family intend to stay in Hong Kong, and she is looking forward to doing more voluntary work and spending more quality time with her family and grandchildren. Mrs. Lau has a daughter and a daughter-in-law who are both DOGA members!
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