Dennis Memorial Grammar School, Onitsha has the distinction of having one of the oldest and most influential high school Alumni Associations in Nigeria. To continue this tradition of assisting the school, DMGS Old Boys Association of North America, Inc., popularly known as DOBANA was formed. DOBANA is an association of former students on the famous Dennis Memorial Grammar School, Onitsha, Nigeria. DOBANA has an overriding objective of keeping all former students of DMGS residing in the North American continent connected to each other and assisting the students at DMGS Onitsha in the form of scholarships and infrastructural developments.
A group of former students founded the DMGS Old Boys Association of North America in February 1995 after the death of Mr. Samuel Ogoazi, a popular and first indigenous principal of the school. Before the founding of DOBANA, a few regional organizations were in operation in cities such as Washington, D.C., Houston, TX, and Tri-States, NY, however coordination among the organization was lacking. The formation of DOBANA brought all former students of this great institution resident in North America under one umbrella, with loose associations between the branches and individuals.
The organization was initially incorporated in the state of Michigan on November 11, 1996, and the constitution was adopted in 1998. Between 1995 and 1998, membership in DOBANA increased from mere 15 to well over 300 individual due-paying members spread all over the United States of America and Canada. In 1998, it was agreed upon that the association should maintain its structure of individual membership, which allowed individuals to choose to be members of DOBANA or not regardless of their membership status within a branch. DMGS Old Boys Association of North America was re-incorporated in Texas in 2004 after the original incorporation in Michigan lapsed and was not renewed in the state of Michigan in 2002. In 2012 DOBANA obtained the 501(C)3 Non-Profit, IRS tax-exempt status which allowed most contributions made to the association to be deductible in the USA for tax purposes.
DOBANA started extensive capital development projects in DMGS, Onitsha in 1998, which led to a massive improvement in the buildings and landscaping at the old school. An ambitious plan was designed to revamp the educational experience and performance of students at the school. This plan laid out the foundation for all capital development projects at the school projected to take the school beyond 2020.
Among the numerous contributions DOBANA has made to DMGS Onitsha are: