The Dr. C. J. SYMONS SCHOLARSHIP was established in 1985 by the Diocesan Old Girls’ Association in honour of Dr. Catherine Joyce Symons, headmistress of Diocesan Girls’ School, from 1953 to 1985. Diocesan Old Girls’ Association Limited (“DOGAL”) welcomes donations by old girls and all interested parties to maintain this Scholarship, which commemorates an outstanding educationist. Dr. Symons led the School from the critical post-war years to the period when Hong Kong emerged as a thriving modern metropolis. She firmly established DGS’ reputation as a leading school in Hong Kong.
Born in Shanghai, Dr. Symons came to Hong Kong at the age of two and began her association with DGS as a pupil at age seven. Her teaching career at the School, which began in 1939, was interrupted during World War II. After the war in October 1945, Joyce Symons, then known as Miss Anderson, was requested by Bishop Hall to return to Hong Kong from Macau to assist in the re-opening of the School. Ms Gibbins, then Headmistress, had to return to England to recuperate after years of internment at the Stanley Camp. The School was one of the first to re-open, thus it was a great honour when Admiral Harcourt came to visit. Dr. Symons was appointed acting Headmistress in 1949 and became Headmistress in 1953, retiring only in 1985 after serving the School for 32 years.
Dr. Symons was the first woman appointed to the Executive Council of the Hong Kong Government and the second woman to the Legislative Council. She was also one of a handful of female members of the Urban Council at the time. Her public service included civic duties as a Justice of the Peace and as a member on various boards. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Hong Kong University. Dr. Symons passed away peacefully at the age of 85 on 11th June 2004 in England.
In selecting the recipient for the Scholarship, the Careers & Scholarship Sub-Committee of DOGAL (the “Committee”) aims to select a candidate who best exemplifies the qualities of a DGS girl as envisioned by Dr. Symons. Such qualities are encapsulated in the following quote from her own memoirs, Looking at the Stars – Memoirs of Catherine Joyce Symons, “… we aimed to send out into the world, girls who were conscious of their wonderful heritage of Christian thought, Western democratic ideals and the classical culture of China and, because they remembered the School motto “Daily Giving Service”, who would bring to our city the attributes of womanly patience, poise and gentleness, and innate toughness, in an age of much empty-headed noise and empty-hearted indifference.” Academic abilities, achievements in other fields such as music, sports and other attributes will be considered.
The Scholarship is for the amount of HK$160,000. It will be awarded each year to a Sixth Form student of the Diocesan Girls’ School towards her tertiary studies in Hong Kong or abroad. The award ceremony will be held at DOGAL’s Annual Dinner when the recipient will also be presented with a certificate and DOGAL Life Membership.
Interested candidates should apply directly to the Committee. Details of the application procedures and requirements are set out below. The Scholarship will be offered conditional upon admission being granted by, and taking up of studies at, a university or such other educational institution as accepted by the Committee, over the period of the academic studies.
2016 Application Procedures and Requirements
Selected candidates will be contacted for an interview within June at the School or on such other date and at such other venue as the Committee may determine. If a candidate is not contacted by mid-July, 2016, she may assume that her application is not successful.