It has been over a month since the first keystone of the Centenary Walkway was lain, and today the final rock was put into place. This 200kg rock, sourced on the Watermeyer’s farm, has since been driven to Port Elizabeth, sandblasted with our crest and motto, and driven back to its final nestling place at the entrance to our beautiful school. Today, the painstaking work of sealing each rock began. It was a meditative and contemplative process as the team brought each rock, representative of our special school community, to colourful life.
As part of our school’s centenary celebration, UHS will be hosting a Centenary Dinner on Friday, May 3, 2019.
We wish to congratulate the following Union boys on their selection to the Karoo U/12 cricket team. They will be taking part in the U/12 Rural Cricket Festival in Cradock from 30 November – 2 December 2018.
The Herby Arnott girls honoured Lien Koopman, a cook at the hostel, and said good bye as she is leaving at the end of this year. Lien was a great blessing to all.
Jenny Morris also stopped duties at the hostel after many years of bringing lots of laughter to all. We wish them both everything of the best for the future.
Union High School will be hosting the 13th Annual Mica Cricket Festival from 3 – 5 January.
All parents and supporters are invited to join us for a Steak Braai in the Tony Burrell Union on Thursday, 3 January @ 19:00. R120 per person.
THURSDAY 3 JANUARY (DECLARATION) – 09:00
UHS MURRAY FIELD – Union High School vs Daniel Pienaar
UHS PUTTICK FIELD – Hoerskool Dispatch vs Queens College 2nd XI
BOTANICS – Queens College 1st XI vs Stirling High School
FRIDAY 4 JANUARY (50 OVERS) – 09:00
UHS MURRAY FIELD – Union High School vs Queens College 1st XI
UHS PUTTICK FIELD – Daniel Pienaar vs Queens College 2nd XI
BOTANICS – Stirling High School vs Hoerskool Dispatch
There will also be an evening T20 played at Botanics on Friday 4 January. (Both Teams will be selected from players from all schools). Bring and braai for all supporters – fires available.
SATURDAY 5 JANUARY (20 OVERS) – 09:00
UHS MURRAY FIELD – Union High School vs Hoerskool Dispatch
UHS PUTTICK FIELD – Striling High School vs Queens College 2nd XI
BOTANICS – Queens College 1st XI vs Daniel Pienaar
As the matric class of 2018 led out of their final English exam today, they left behind their shoes to be used by those less fortunate. They also left behind them a mountain of memories and special times at Union High, and strode confidently into a new phase in their lives. We wish you well, Class of 2018.
There has been a hive of activity around the Centenary Walkway these past 3 weeks and the area is beginning to look exquisite! Yesterday a group of matrics on study break offered to lay a rock symbolising their time at Union. As Amanda Brink chose a beautiful small rock she commented how poignant it is to her that even a small thing can make large impact towards the creation of something beautiful when you are a part of a team. We can be grateful to so many for this amazing team effort!
A large number of Union swimmers travelled to Port Elizabeth this weekend (17 November) to participate in their final B-Age Group gala for this year. The event proved to be a great outlet from the stresses of exam time and many of our swimmers managed to post new personal best times in numerous events; in particular the 100m freestyle.
Well done to all these swimmers, who have continued to train hard throughout the exam period and have been rewarded for their efforts. Union High placed 9th overall out of more than 40 schools, and in the senior section our boys placed 3rd and our girls finished in 4th place.
‘Bring a rock to Union’ – When dreams become reality thanks to teamwork!
The long walkway between the Bruce Maree Gates and the Union was an area of the school campus that needed a new look! The strip road alongside the Puttick field was a little tatty, and the exotic cypresses that grew there were messy and didn’t allow for any grass to grow. When Headmaster, Mr Pringle mentioned this at a Governing Body meeting, the team immediately sprung to action, determined to make a change! Kevin Watermeyer dreamed of a beautiful area that could somehow symbolise each and every learner at school – past or present, and at the same time bring the beauty of our Karoo onto the campus. The ‘Bring a Rock to Union’ project was subsequently conceptualised under the management of hands-on parent Joan McNaughton.
Phase 1 included appealing to the Union family to “Bring a rock to Union”, and soon a healthy pile of rocks started to materialise at the ‘Rock Drop Zone’. The idea was for each learner to bring a rock that would symbolise their time at Union.
Realising that the area to be paved was far larger than anticipated, the Watermeyer family offered a donation of flat rocks from their farm ‘Zuurplaats’. But we were now stuck with the problem of how to transport about 30 tonnes of rock from about 50kms away to Union!
Local businessman and parent Campbell Scott was approached and very generously loaned the school his 10 tonne truck to transport the rocks – and this took more than 1 trip! Without him, the project would have been incredibly difficult, if not impossible. So now there were rocks on a farm and trucks – and rocks don’t just hop onto trucks!
Mr Donald Kingwill and Mr Sparrius gathered up a team of our strongest Arthur Kingwill House boys and they headed off one Saturday to ‘Grootklip’ with Mr Pringle. While Lisa Watermeyer provided the lads with lunch and refreshments, they spent the day collecting and loading many tonnes of rock. Mr Pringle later said that he had never seen a group of boys work so hard.
Another amazing thing happened as one of the lads lifted a rock, spotting a snake which they thought was a puffadder. Kevin documented the snake and sent a photo off to a group of conservationists called ‘Bionerds’, who identified the snake as a rare Plain Mountain Adder. It was later confirmed to be the 12th ever recording of this elusive snake!
Joan McNaughton now had rocks, and fabulous donations of cement from the McNaughton, Broeksma, Rogers, Beaumont, Sullivan, Brotherton, Bouwer and Hesselink families as well as a cash donation from Johann Botha, and time was ticking. Having worked with rock paving in the past, and with an artistic eye, David Langmead, chairman of our SGB, got the ball rolling and alongside builders Manus, Anthony and James with the help of Mr Kingwill and Joan, started digging out and laying the Karoo rocks. While they were at work, Union learners ambled past, adding commentary and appreciation as to how the area was transforming in the space of a week. Matric learner, Mtha Mzimba spoke of how much it meant to him that he had helped collect the rocks and how he now felt that a little piece of himself was embedded into the Union Grounds. Moral support, cups of tea and coffee and appreciation from those who witnessed the project coming into fruition were much appreciated. Mr Kingwill also took the opportunity to cut down the exotic cypresses along the walkway to give the indigenous stinkwood trees planted there more space and light to grow.
The project will still take a while to complete, but it has been an incredible testament to what vision, teamwork and generosity can do for a school! So in the next few weeks, if you have a spare few hours, put on your work clothes and join the team who are busy ‘Laying rocks for Union’, and leave a little legacy for our beautiful school. Any further donations of cement and flat rocks will be much appreciated as the area is a little larger than anticipated!