Bulletin – March


On Monday evening, Union High School hosted a dinner in the Tony Burrell Union to celebrate the connection between the School and the Salisbury Cathedral School in the United Kingdom. For 27 years, Union’s Grade 7 learners have been going to Salisbury as exchange students for a term, followed by the Salisbury learners spending a term in South Africa. Quite a few of these learners then go on to do a Gap Year at Salisbury after completing their matric year.

Monday’s event was attended by all of the exchange students from 2013 to date, as well as their parents. After Mr Pringle welcomed all the guests, Mr Bruce Maree, one of the founder members of the Exchange Programme, gave a short history, and amused the audience with a few tales of events that have happened over the years.

Thanks to Mrs Bronwen Langmead, the learners and parents were entertained with a collage of memories of their time in South Africa and the United Kingdom. Each learner was also presented with an Exchange Student badge, which they will wear for the duration of their years at Union High.
The Salisbury Exchange Programme is such an important part of Union life, and this event was a great celebration of the connection between the two schools.


On Tuesday evening, 20 March, nineteen Top levellers attended a presentation on Meteorology in The Union. Mrs Danelle Botes, a Meteorologist holding a Masters’ degree in this field and currently studying towards PGCE qualification, introduced the group of learners to the possibilities that a career in Meteorology holds.

After enlightening learners on the difference between Climatology and Meteorology, she explained the field of study, referring to the development and ingredients of thunderstorms and predictions to the path of these phenomena. She also explained a supercell thunderstorm, electrification of clouds and how lightning occurs. She explained the principles of Remote Sensing of these storms and the impact of being able to predict the path of a storm, on Insurance companies.
The evening concluded in a Question and Answer session. It was enjoyed by all.


On Friday, 23 March, Goldrush Graaff-Reinet, in partnership with Algoa FM, hosted a live outside broadcast aimed at promoting tourism in Graaff-Reinet and surrounding areas. Grade 11 learners from local schools were invited to enter a poster/banner competition. Chevonne Prinsloo, a grade 11 Tourism learner at Union High School won this competition with her lovely Camdeboo poster. Well done Chevonne!!
On photo: Chevonne Prinsloo with KayCee Rossouw from Algoa FM.


On Friday, 23 March, Ms Jenny Street, co-ordinator of the Eco-Club at Union High School, and Grade 11 learner Jemimah Mangunda, travelled to King William’s Town to receive the school’s International award, based on the schools efforts in 2017. 2018 is Union’s 5th year as partners of WESSA Eco-Schools and ‘School Grounds’ is the new theme for this year.

The school maintains its previous projects and also chooses a new project from each of its previous themes: Resources – Reducing the school’s annual electricity bill, Healthy Living – Revamping the Primary boys’ bathroom and Biodiversity.


The First team travelled to Grahamstown over the weekend to comptete against Cambridge in the Greame College Rugby Day. Cambridge scored an early try against the run of play after a poor kick chase from us. We were able to hit back right away with a try of our own by Matteo Mahona. He scored after a superbly executed set piece move by the backline which saw Breyton Damons cutting the opposition defence like a hot blade through butter. Breyton ran fifty meters before being dragged down one meter short and popping the ball to Matteo who ran the perfect support line like all open side flanks should. Soon after this try, we again pulled off a set piece move to allow Breyton to walk over untouched in the corner. Matt Harpur converted both tries and a penalty to give us a 17-7 lead at the break.
Cambridge did all the attacking in the second half as we struggled to hold onto possession. We needed to show huge character on defence. Some gutsy tackling and an immense work rate allowed us to withstand wave after wave of Cambridge offense. They did eventually cross over for a converted try but it was too little too late, with us emerging 17-14 victors.
Forward of the match goes to Matthew Broeksma who again led from the front. His effort from the base of the scrum was extraordinary and as always had a massive presence on defence.
Backline player of the match goes to Ronan Retief, who was colossal in stopping opposition momentum. He made arguably the biggest hit of the day and a few more which had the crowd clenching their teeth at the impact.
The win will certainly boost our confidence ahead of two tough fixtures on Thursday and Saturday of the festival.

Union High’s 1st hockey team travelled to East London this weekend to participate in the very competitive Greg Beling Festival. With a new team in action and due to poor execution, the results were not as pleasing as expected.

Friday, 23 March
UHS vs QGHS: 1 – 0
UHS vs Oranje: 0 – 4
Saturday, 24 March
UHS vs Clarendon: 0 – 3
UHS vs Hudson Park: 1 – 1
Sunday, 25 March
UHS vs Stirling: 0 – 3


Rugby vs St Andrews (Bloemfontein)
1st XI
The 1st XV had a very disappointing outing to Bloemfontein over the weekend. After a good start, the Union boys took and early 7 – 3 lead, when Breyton Damons crossed over for a concerted try in the 10th minute. Matt Harpur scored midway through the second half, and Union found themselves 12 – 9 ahead, with 15 minutes to play. Despite scoring two tries to St Andrews’ one, penalties proved to be the difference, and St Andrews eventually won the match 19 – 12.  It was a bitter pill to swallow, but the Union boys have learnt valuable lessons, which will no doubt drive them to improve and get back to winning ways.
Other Results:
2nd Team:  36 – 7
U/14:  17 – 10
U/15:  12 – 27
U/16:  19 -12

Hockey vs DSG
1st XI
On Saturday Union’s 1st hockey side played their first hockey match of the season. The match lived up to its hype and was an energy sapping match. After 5 minutes one could feel that one mistake would be the deciding factor in the outcome of the match. Union defended for most of the 1st half, as they did not stick to the game plan at all and gave a lot of the ball possession away with double turnovers, which hampered their attacking ability. Unfortunately, as they were struggling to settle into the game, they made a defensive error, which resulted in them conceding a very soft goal. The second half was a completely different game, as the Union girls dominated the ball, and their fitness, as well as their concentration was superior.
Union struggled to break through DSG’s defence, so they withdrew their goal keeper, who had an exceptional game, to go on an all-out attack with one extra player. This resulted in Union receiving a penalty corner at the end of the game, which they failed to convert. Union lost the game 0-1. Many lessons were learnt this past weekend as the Union girls look to rectify their mistakes for the all-important Greg Beling Festival in East London this weekend.
Other results
2nd Team:  2-1
U16B lost 0 – 6
3rd Team lost 0 – 5
U16A lost 1 – 2

1st Junior Team vs DSG u/13A:  0 – 1
2nd Junior Team vs DSG Under 13B:  1 – 0
TOP 8 Gala
A group of 9 Union High swimmers participated in the Top 8 Invitational Gala on Saturday, 17 March, which pits the top swimmers of schools in the province against each other. Union High won 11 medals in total and the swimmers were well-rewarded for all their hard work during the season.
Congratulations to the following swimmers on their medal wins:

Photograph left to right:
Jason Wright – Silver 100m Breastroke and Silver 50m Breastroke
Ben Kroon – Silver 50m Backstroke, Bronze 100m Freestyle and 100m Backstroke and Bronze 50m Butterfly
Jenna Harvey – Gold 50m Butterfly and Gold 50m Backstroke
Hannah Bodenstein – Silver 50m Freestyle and Bronze 50m Backstroke
James Potgieter – Silver 50m Breaststroke


On Friday 16 March Union High’s Eco Club visited Karoo Catch to learn more about food security. What they learned at Karoo Catch really made sense to them. This Aqua Culture and Fish Processing business is unique to the Eastern Cape and will serve as the model flagship for more such enterprises.
At Karoo Catch the female fish (Clarias gariepinus) are artificially inseminated. The offspring are nurtured from birth to the fully grown stage, which takes approximately 6 months. This is a tough freshwater fish commonly found in the area. It is an excellent source of affordable protein. It does not have a traditional fish flavour which allows one to flavour the minced product. The group sampled their pork and lemon flavoured sausage which was delicious.
The farm plant has 5 breeding tunnels at present and re-uses the water after it has been through a filtration process. During the cleaning process, even the fish faeces is re-used as it is extracted and serves as excellent compost for their vegetable gardens. The farm plant boasts the use of solar panels combined with Municipal power. The fish do not ingest polluted products found mainly in our rivers and dams.
Presently this food security business provides employment for 106 permanent staff, most of whom also share in its profits. A large processing factory is in the planning stages and when completed this will create many more employment opportunities for the region. The Eco Club thanks Trudi Bezuidenhout and all the staff of Karoo Catch for the site visit and educating them about this sustainable protein food business. Thanks also go to Rosemary Scheepers from SANParks who drove and accompanied the group on this exciting outing.


We wish to congratulate the following SGB members on their election as Office Bearers for the new School Governing Body:
Chairman – David Langmead
Vice-Chairman – Kevin Watermeyer
Finance Chairperson – Wilmari Spence
SGB Secretary – Bronwen Langmead


A full and exhausting season is culminating this week with the Top 8 Invitation Gala which is being held in Port Elizabeth on the 17th of March. Union is very proud to announce that seventeen of our swimmers have the honour of being invited to participate in this gala. Congratulations to the following swimmers:
Amber Binney
Hannah Bodenstein
Drew Dobinson
Jenna Harvey
Kendall Krige
Michael Krige
Ben Kroon
Cameron Muir
Tracy Petit
James Potgieter
Rachel Pringle
James Rose-Innes
Kelly-Page Scott
Chloe Shires
Jade Shires
Corniel Vorster
Jason Wright
Unfortunately many of our swimmers will be unable to participate in this event due to clashes with other sports fixtures on the calendar. We wish our swimmers the best of luck in this prestigious event.


Union High is proud to announce Matthew Broeksma as their 1st XV rugby captain, and Rebecca Langmead as 1st team hockey captain for the 2018 winter season. Congratulations to both these young leaders who we are sure will lead their teams with pride and utmost respect for their responsibilities.


The winners of the Grade 9 Speech Competition that was held last week are James Rose Innes (1st place) and Nina Boekkooi (2nd place), both from Arnott House. Impromptu speeches were also well delivered by Jarrod Naude and Max Wright.


Congratulations to Caytah-Leigh Koeberg for being selected to represent the Eastern Cape u/13 tennis team at the National Primary Schools Inter-Provincial tournament in Bloemfontein from the 27th of April 2018 to the 1st of May 2018.


Six Union High learners did their Modern and Tap Dance examinations at the end of last year. The work done is from the Association of International Dance Teachers and the Union dancers obtaining great results. Each learner did different Grade Levels, starting from youngest to oldest, and note that as they get older, the work gets more challenging!

They achieved the following marks in their examination:
(front, left to right)  Leah Marais (Modern 93% & Tap 97%);  Lulibo Pietersen (Modern 93%);  Donne Marais (Modern 80%)
(back, left to right)  Kayla Bodenstein (Modern 83 %);  Carmen Beaumont (Modern 94% & Tap 93%);  Laeticia Theron (Modern 98%)

We commend these girls for their hard work at this out of school sport, which they do in their free time. Well done, girls, you do Union High proud.


We are pleased to announce that the following parents have been elected to serve on the School Governing Body over the next three years. We are grateful to all parents who stood for election.

Mr Kelvin Kayster
Mr David Langmead
Mrs Bronwen Langmead
Mrs Joan McNaughton
Mrs Lyn Rose-Innes
Mrs Wilmarie Spence
Mr Kevin Watermeyer


The First Team took part in the Gill Rugby Day on Saturday and was matched against Hoerskool Andrew Rabie from Port Elizabeth. Being the first game of the season there was heaps of nervous excitement amongst the squad. The Union boys didn’t know much about our opponents which added to the uncertainty and tension. Once the game began, Union were quick to put Andrew Rabie under pressure and converted this pressure into points through a Matt Harpur penalty.
Andrew Rabie hit back with a penalty of their own after a careless error from Union in their own territory. This seemed to ignite the Union boys, and they started to find their rhythm, by keeping the ball through multiple phases and wearing down the opposition defence. Union dominated possession and were patient on attack which is a huge positive so early in the season. Union scored five unanswered tries through Luthando Skapu (2), Terrance Siyaya, Cowan Swartz and Iviwe Ndamane. It was an outstanding team effort with all the reserves getting valuable game time. Congratulations to Gary Shell, Ben Kroon, Breyton Damons and Luke McNaughton for earning their first start in the white jersey. Elijah Japhta, Damon Fouche, Cleathon Koeberg and Matteo Mahona all represented the 1st XV for the first time, when they came off the bench.
Forward of the match was Terrance Siyaya, who got through a ton of work and has added a new dimension to the way he plays. Back of the match was undoubtedly Luthando Skapu, who surprises opponents with his explosive power and physicality. His early try was an exceptional individual effort and set the standard for the remainder of the game.

Despite the 34-3 victory, there is still much room for improvement and this week will be filled with new challenges and hard work.

U/16A at Gill Day
Union’s Under 16 A rugby team played against Aeroville High School at Gill Day and won their
match 41 – 21.

U/14A at Grens Rugby Festival
The U/14A rugby team travelled to East London to participate in the Grens Rugby Festival. On the first day Union played against Stirling and unfortunately the boys were very rusty to start off. Basic mistakes saw Stirling winning the match 27 – 47. Union’s try scorers were Sisipho Arnols (2), Siya Badiwe and Likhona Finca. Hlaki Skepe kicked three conversions
On day 2 the Union boys faced Port Rex and won the match 43 – 15. Try scorers were Siya Badiwe (2), Likhona Finca (2), Olwethu Ngwenya, Ruzhe Hendricks, JJ Liebenberg. Hlaki Skepe once again kicked 4 conversions.
Olwethu Ngwenya was awarded man of the match!

U/13A at Grens Rugby Festival
The Under 13A team also travelled to East London to participate in the annual Grens Rugby Festival.
The u/13’s first match was against Nahoon, who proved to be formidable opponents. The game got off to a slow start, but Union soon gained momentum and scored early in the second half. They then kept Nahoon under pressure to score another two tries. This was a great team effort and the game ended with Union winning 17-0. The man of the match award went to Laythan Carelse.
The Second match was a very tough encounter against Lilyfontein, who brought a very physical side to the festival. Lilyfontein scored a try in the first two minutes. The Union boys fought bravely to stay in the game, but in the end Lilyfontein won 5-0.

This past weekend the Union 1st Team Hockey took part in the Season Opening Festival which serves as a part of the 1st round of trials. All games were friendly matches. Union used this as a great way to fine tune their game plans for the season against Eastern Province’s finest hockey schools.
vs Collegiate:  0 – 2
vs Kingswood:  0 – 0
vs Alexander Road:  2  -1
vs Woodridge College 2 – 1
vs DSG:  0 – 0
We must compliment the girls on the manner in which they played. They received numerous accolades regarding the tempo they play, and the speed with which they played their games, and are looking forward to a great season.

The 2nd hockey team also participated at Gill Day, beating Templeton High School 5 – 0 in the first match, and losing to Gill’s 1st team 0 – 1.


As part of the much-anticipated Union High Centenary celebrations (1919 – 2019) the School is embarking on an Eco-Schools Project where all the indigenous trees on the School campus will be labelled with tree tags.

The tags, which were produced by the company www.treetags.co.za will be affixed to the trunks of the trees by the schools Eco Club under the guidance of educators Ms Jenny Street and Mr Pringle. The standard tags are anodised aluminium tree tags, size 50x100mm and contain interesting information about the trees including the national tree number, the botanical name, the English, Afrikaans and either isiXhosa or isiZulu name and the school’s centenary logo.

The School’s centenary logo is displayed on each tag, as the naming/tagging of the trees is part of the celebrations. The trees are as follows: Camdeboo (White) Stinkwood Celtis Africana, Yellowwood Podocarpus falcatus, Cape Ash Ekebergia capensis, Coral Tree Erythrina caffra, Cabbage Tree C. paniculata subsp. sinuate, Weeping Boer Bean Schotia brachypetala, Wild Olive Olea europea sbs. Africana, Fever Tree Vachellia xanthophloea (Acacia), Jacaranda Jacaranda mimosifolia.

Only one exotic tree, the Jacaranda, a naturalised alien which is well-represented on the school campus, will be tagged. The Jacaranda comes from the north-west of Argentina and arrived in South Africa in about 1880.

The tags, which are made of anodised aluminium, will be screwed to the host tree in such a manner that the screws will provide room for future growth.

It is hoped that this project will inspire a custodianship of our natural resources in the learners and that they will come to see the trees as natural treasures. The school is committed to planting indigenous trees, particularly the Camdeboo (White) Stinkwood Celtis Africana, which is usually planted during Arbor Week in September. Many of these trees have been planted in the school grounds where they will provide shade and beauty for generations to come. It is said that the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago, but the next best time is today. The school hopes that its future alumni will go out into the world as environmental warriors who will plant trees wherever they may go.


Union High’s top 8 boys’ and girls’ tennis teams competed in the Fichardt Park McDonalds tournament in Bloemfontein today.

The boys’ top 4 finished 3rd in their section and the second 4 won the B tournament. Congratulations must go to Matthew Hesselink, Peter Watermeyer, Ryan Hobson and Brett Amsterdam on this fine achievement.

The top 4 girls finished 3rd and the 2nd team, 6th overall.

Well done to our tennis teams! 


In February, nine Union High athletes represented the Karoo Team at the Sarah Baartman Athletics Meeting held at The Oval in Port Elizabeth. Between sunshine and rain, each athlete gave his or her best and we congratulate the following learners on their medals received:
Erin Mitchell received a bronze medal for high jump, Rosslyn Sparks a silver medal for discus and Marche Green received a silver medal for high jump. Gold medals were awarded to Candice Russell for high jump and Sanja du Plessis for 800m.

Congratulations to Marché Green (u/17 Girls High Jump) and Sanja du Plessis (u/19 Girls 800 m) on their selection to the Sarah Baartman Team, to attend the Eastern Cape Secondary Schools Athletics Championships at Nelson Mandela University, this week.

CAPTION : Erin Mitchell, Sanja du Plessis, Rosslyn Sparks and Marche Green.


On Friday, 2 March, the Union 1st Hockey Team hosted a training camp for Union Preparatory and Junior School hockey players. This was an opportunity for the 1st team girls to pass on their knowledge of the game to these young future hockey stars who admire the stick work and skills of the older girls. The girls did a splendid job coaching a total of 95 youngsters throughout the day.
This was a great way to begin a busy season for the 1st team. We would like to congratulate the 1st team girls on a job well done and for offering up their time to coach the future. They did a splendid job and the day was thoroughly enjoyed by all.


Congratulations to Kyle-Luke du Preez for taking part in the Herald Cycle Tour in Port Elizabeth last weekend. Kyle-Luke participated in the Under 17 age group and completed the 55km distance for his group.


As we draw to the end of another incredibly demanding swimming season, it was so rewarding to see our Union swimmers reap the benefits of all their hours in the pool. A full sports programme has left many of our athletes physically and mentally depleted, yet they managed to dig deep for yet another spectacular performance. In an event that hosted hundreds of children from schools all over the Karoo, our Primary division placed third overall, while our senior boys placed second overall and our senior girls clinched the first position.

We thank all the swimmers for participating with such determination, and are especially grateful to those learners who had to shake the cobwebs out of their swimsuits and be called out of “retirement” to fill lanes wherever necessary. It is this kind of selfless team-work that puts our school on the podiums. Well done to you all! Congratulations to the following swimmers who did very well to be placed in the top 3 overall in their age groups:
Chloe Erasmus and Jade Shires – 1st overall
Finn Cilliers and Hannah Bodenstein – 2nd overall.
Emma Short, Matthew Paxton, Corniel Vorster, Kendall Krige and Megan Doyle – 3rd overall.
The team that has been selected to swim in the Karoo Team on the 12 of March will be announced soon.


A group of 24 Union swimmers, from U/13 to Open, participated in the final B-Age Group Gala in Port Elizabeth in February. It was the biggest team entry we’ve had this season, and the first B-Age Group gala for some of the swimmers.

There were 550 entrants from all schools at this gala, making it the biggest of the season. Our swimmers are hoping to be invited to the Top 8 Gala in a few weeks’ time, which will be the finale of the swimming season.

This was the second gala of the week for the swimmers and they all did very well, swimming personal best times or very close to their best times. Our swimmers have put in hours of training and many competed in three galas in two weeks. We await the names of those invited to the Top 8 Gala.

Congratulations to the following swimmers on their results:
Boys Open: Cameron Muir – 1st place 100m Backstroke, Ben Kroon – 2st place 50m and 100m Backstroke, Michael Krige – 3rd place 50m Freestyle
Girls Open: Jenna Harvey – 2nd place 100m Backstroke, 3rd place 50m Freestyle and 50m Butterfly
Boys 14 years: James Potgieter – 3rd place 50m Breaststroke
Girls 13 years: Hanna Bodenstein – 2nd place 50m Freestyle and 3rd place 50m Backstroke


Last weekend saw nine of our Union junior swimmers head off to Port Elizabeth to participate in a C-Age Group Gala. With the drought having closed one of the venues, our swimmers faced a long day at the poolside to compete with schools from all over the Eastern Cape.

Congratulations to the following swimmers who did very well to place in the top 5 positions in their age group:
Daniel Marais – 4th in 25m backstroke, 4th in 25m freestyle and 5th in 25m breaststroke
Caytah-Leigh Koeberg – 3rd in 25m backstroke, 5th in 25m freestyle and 5th in 25m breaststroke
Max Price – 4th in 25m breaststroke and 5th in 25m freestyle