Bulletin – April 2018


Union High School’s production ‘Go the Distance’, written and directed by Avrille Putter and boasting a large cast of nearly 100 learners and crew, was a feast for the eye, ear and soul last week. The story, based on a young boxer, Zekiah Molope, brilliantly performed by Ikhona Koeberg, whisked the audience through the colourful streets, sheebeens and gyms of Sophiatown in the late 1950’s. ‘Go the Distance’ could have stood its own at any drama festival and those who were privy to the few hours of sheer energy, joyful song and dance, and clever witticism were in for a treat that way surpassed any regular high school production.

The show was cleverly narrated by Peter Watermeyer who held the story together with excellent acting and clear enunciation. In his likeable role as Frank, Peter clearly told the story of Zekiah – a struggling young boxer – who became a hero as he ‘went the distance’ against Duke Jackson – the reigning middleweight champion, also convincingly played by Damon Fouche. Frank tells the story of Zekiah to a group of school children, led by Sima Desemela, who was aptly cast as Busi. This talented young woman add-libbed her way through the show, adding many an hilarious punch line, and drew the entire audience and cast along with her skill. Her naughly co-horts provided much hilarity as they formed their own sub-plot to the main story-line. What was clearly evident is just how much these young thespians enjoyed themselves – and even the supporting cast was engaged in their puns and witticisms as they came up with something completely new each evening!

Ikhona Koeberg moulded and shaped the character of Zekiah as the story developed. His execution of this sometimes vulnerable, sometimes comedic protagonist was remarkable, and the passion with which he fought and danced and loved and sang his way through the story made for many a ‘goosebump’ moment!

“Go the Distance” was a celebration of colour, dance and song! Janet Kingwill’s beautiful set design was the perfect backdrop to carefully crafted 1950’s costumes, many sewn by Colleen Ekermans who devoted hours of work and love behind the scenes. Remarkably choreographed scenes included the miners’ dance which celebrated the beautiful voices of the senior boys, as they performed an earth shattering gumboot dance led by the powerful voice of Jason Beaumont. The bus stop scene, led in rousing song by Zintle Maki, involved professional lighting effects that symbolized the dawn, with nostalgic photographs that transported the viewer into Sophiatown of old. The Wedding party was a riotous celebration of song and exuberance and absolute joy as the entire cast danced their way through ‘Mama Themba’s wedding.’ Zekiah’s final fight scene, professionally commentated by Cameron Muir and Amanda Brink as Bob and Janey, was a display of clever showmanship and lighting effects as he ‘went the distance’, surviving 15 rounds of ‘freeze frame’ choreography that was perfectly and timeously executed by the entire cast.

The calibre singing and acting was outstanding this year, with Bavuyise Hermans, Tracy-Lee Abels and Kay Koeberg taking on difficult solos with aplomb. Ashwon Dawids had the audience in stitches as the local gang leader, Shakes – throwing in a bit of ‘Graaffrikaans’ for good measure too! Gym owner, Sam was convincingly performed by Olwethu Ngcai, while Taylyn Miller played the giggly, permanently positive Nancy. Rebecca Langmead took on the role of Gloria – the cynical, bossy shebeen queen who ruled the ‘Crazy Moon’ with an iron fist!

In her speech of gratitude to Avrille Putter after the final curtain call, Rebecca Langmead described her as ‘ineffable’ – meaning ‘too great or extreme to be described in words’. She said that the cast had arrived as amateurs and left as accomplished actors. That they had arrived as a cast, and left as a family.

‘Go the Distance’ is an example of a group of truly unified youngsters having a great deal of fun along with a copious amount of talent! Union High School can be congratulated on a sublime production that fills one with admiration and hope for the youth of our colourful nation!


View the photographs on our Facebook page
Photographs courtesey of Wendy Venter


Union High wishes to congratulate Kwande Mhlabeni for his selection to represent the Eastern Cape Under 15 Tennis Team at the National Primary Schools Inter-Provincial Tournament to be held in Pretoria from the 27th of April to the 1st of May.

Kwande is an extremely dedicated and hard-working tennis player, and is currently ranked No. 6 in the Eastern Province. We wish him well at National Week, where he will be competing against the top tennis players in South Africa. Well done, Kwande, you make Union proud!

Here seen with Mr Carl Bezuidenhout (Head of Sport), Mr Floris Steenkamp (Junior Sports Administrator and Mrs Yvette Cloete (Head of Junior Department)


Fourteen of Union’s chess players played in an open Swiss chess tournament in Middelburg on Monday. This tournament also served as the second round of trials to select a team to represent the Chris Hani Chess District at the Chess SA championships in Johannesburg in December this year.

In the U/18 section Liano Naidoo won all five his matches and is ranked as the Nr 1 u/18 player in our district. James Rose-Innes is ranked as the Nr 2 player in the U/16 section. Rachael Houseman is ranked 3rd in the U/14 section with Amahle Finca in 4th position on the log.
This is a phenomenal achievement. We congratulate our chess players and look forward to the closed tournament in August where it will be determined who of our players will represent the district and our school at National level. 


1st XV:  40 – 22
In our away fixture against Victoria Park High School on Saturday, the First Rugby Team won their encounter 40 – 22. We showed good ability to keep possession and the linking play between backs and forwards was again an effective part of our arsenal. Our try scorers were Matthew Broeksma, Terrance Siyaya, Olwethu Ngcai, Gary Shell and Breyton Damons (2). Matt Harpur converted five of the six tries. Man of the match was undoubtedly openside flank Michael Krige. He carried the ball with tremendous power and his work rate on defence was unrivalled. He is often an unsung hero but, in this game, he certainly made his presence felt. Both wings, Breyton and Olwethu, also made many positive contributions. Their pace and finishing skills left the opposition grasping at thin air. All fifteen players fulfilled their role effectively to allow the team to implement what was planned and pull off a satisfying victory.2nd Team:  57 – 5
U/16: 21 – 23
U/15:  7 – 29
U/14:  21 – 24

1st Team: 7 – 0
On Saturday Union High’s 1st hockey team played against Victoria Park at the Nelson Mandela University Astro. The girls played against a well-coached side, but once again produced another near flawless performance. The Union girls are really playing an exciting brand of hockey, which makes it easy on the eye to watch, and they won the match 7-0. Yente Retief must once again be commended for putting on a master performance with class and grace.
Goal were scored by Rebecca Langmead (3), Micela Loock (2), Candice Russel (1) and Henze Jaftha (1)2nd Team:  5 – 0
U/16A:  7 – 0
1st Junior Team
Taking into consideration that this term is a little light on fixtures for Union, Junior Sports Administrator, Mr Steenkamp, took the unprecedented initiative to organise some friendly practice matches for the junior teams against Volkskool. It was a wonderful afternoon with all of the players enjoying the stress-free competition against our traditional rivals and great sportsmanship was shown throughout. The games were played in good spirit and it was a fantastic opportunity for all teams to try out some new combinations.

Despite having dominated play for most of the game, the 1st junior team drew 1 – 1 through a goal by Sonwabiso Mroro. They spent much of the match on attack, but were unfortunate not to be able to convert some of the opportunities they had into goals. It was, however, very exciting to see the girls starting to successfully implement some of the set pieces learned in practice. Keep up the good work girls!

2nd Junior Team
The 2nd Juniors racked up a deserving win of 3-0 against their opponents. While a lot of the play was still a little unstructured, it was wonderful to see that the girls are starting to understand their positional play a little better and by the end of the game they were stringing together some impressive moves as a unit. Special mention must go to Charlize Vorster who has shown a remarkable improvement from last year and carried the ball beautifully on attack throughout the game. Well done to the girls on an excellent result! Goal scorers were Charlize Vorster, Aamninah Steele and Lisakhanye Menos.


Union High’s four Salisbury Exchange students left for the United Kingdom on Friday and received a lovely welcome from their hosts at Heathrow Airport on Saturday morning. experience Gemma, Anna, Brent and Jude!


1st XV:  36 – 15
We travelled to Uitenhage on Saturday to face our oldest rivals Muir College. In what is always a challenging encounter, we emerged as 21-point victors. The first half was a ding-dong battle and the lead changed several times throughout. On the stroke of half-time, we scored what will undoubtedly be a contender for try of the season. The move started with a counter-attack from deep inside our territory and saw us keeping the ball alive through brilliant support and clever interplay between backs and forwards. This meant we went into the break 26-15 ahead. We utilised a favourable wind in the second half and scored a further ten unanswered points to win the match 36-15.
Our tries were scored by Cowan Swartz, Breyton Damons, Jason Beaumont and Matt Harpur (2). Matt also kicked four conversions and a penalty, ending on a total of 21 points in the match.
Backline player of the match was awarded to Cowan Swartz who was exceptional on counter-attack and created opportunities each time he joined the line from fullback.  Forward of the match went to the hard-working Iviwe Ndamane. He was outstanding on defence and played a crucial, yet unnoticed, role on attack.To beat Muir on their field is always a pleasing result and credit should go to the team for fighting through the difficult stages where things didn’t go to plan. We showed maturity and a desire to win which are huge positives. The team want to express their thanks to the rest of the rugby sides for the phenomenal support. If the cheering was a battle, we would have won that too.Other results:
2nd Team:  26 – 26
3rd Team:  41 – 10
U/16A:  56 – 17
U/15A:  6 – 50
U/15B:  25 – 19
U/14A:  10 – 22
U/13 A:  7 – 52
In the words of Mr Geowynne Gamiet, Head of Union High Hockey: ‘Normally when making a match report we would just talk about the 1st team’s game. However, this time I would like to extend my congratulations to all the hockey coaches, managers and players for what was probably the best weekend for Union hockey I’ve experienced in the 6 years that I’ve been at Union High. Not only their performance on the field, but also the impeccable behaviour and the camaraderie that the Union girls displayed right from the 1st game of the day until the very end. Well done, Union Hockey. May this continue for the rest of the season.’

During the 1st team match against Victoria Girls’ High School the Union girls once again showed their class from the very start and scored 2 goals in the first 5 minutes They continued to dominate, played attractive hockey and cruised to an 8-2 win. Goals were scored by Jenna McNaughton (3), Henze Jaftha (3), Candice Russell (1) and Rebecca Langmead (1).
1st Team:  8 – 2
2nd Team:  8 – 0
U/16 A:  4 – 1
U/16 B:  2 – 0
3rd Team:  2 – 0

Clarendon Rugby Festival
Last Thursday, an eager group of U/11 Union rugby players travelled to Port Elizabeth to take part in the annual Clarendon Rugby Festival. Over the course of two days the boys played in three matches.
The under 11s got off to a slow start in the first match vs Westering, losing 24-0. On Friday they started to gain some momentum as they narrowly lost 15 – 10 to a very strong Herbert Hurd side.

In their very exciting final match, which was seen by festival directors as the match of the festival, they beat Summerwood 12-7.


During the Easter holidays, Leah Marais was selected to play in an invitation side at the Elsie Coetzer Hockey Tournament (ECHS) which took place from the 5th to the 9th of April in Bloemfontein. 95 hockey teams from all over South Africa participated.

It was a gruelling tournament, which consisted of coaching – as early as 7 o’clock in the morning, and one to two matches being played every day, at times only finishing at 10 o’clock in the evening.

During this festival, a panel of two professional Dutch selectors were scouting for players to partake in an invitation team to tour Germany and the Netherlands in September 2018.

Union High is very proud to announce that Leah Marais was selected for this touring team and we congratulate her on this wonderful achievement.


For the 31st consecutive year, Union High had the privilege to host their Annual Senior Rugby and Hockey Festival, and once again it was a tremendous success, with teams from across the country taking part in the festival. We would like to quote the main sponsor of the festival, Caltex’s Mr Clive Berlyn from his speech to the visiting coaches: ’As a company, we adopted from the start a firm approach that our involvement in projects and/or events will be guided by whether it provides the right platform to nurture and create the leadership potential that resides within our young people. We strongly believe that sport and education provides us with just such platforms. You are the leaders of tomorrow and what you learn on the playing fields will prepare you for the world that awaits when you leave school.”

With 600 learners and 95 coaches attending, we had hostels bursting at the seams, but the hard-working staff of Arthur Kingwill House and Herby Arnott House made it work and as always Union was complimented for its great hospitality. We wish to take this opportunity to thank our hostel staff for all those extra hours and their contribution to the success of the festival. The same goes to Mr Kingwill and his team of ground-staff for ensuring that our facilities were always in impeccable condition.

Thank you to our rugby and hockey moms and dads for feeding the coaches, sponsors, staff, medics, media team and referees at the Union. As always, the food was of the highest quality (and quantity). Thank you also to Mr Crankshaw and his team of Old Unionites for their contribution.

A festival of this magnitude cannot be hosted without its sponsors. To our main sponsors for festival – Caltex, College Motors, Hyundai, Pick ‘n Pay, SupaQuick and Spur – we appreciate the ongoing support from your businesses. We are looking forward to many more years of working together.

Congratulations to the coaches on their teams’ performances over festival. You and the teams made us proud on and off the field!

Festival Rugby Report
In their first fixture on Thursday, Union played against Hoërskool Charlie Hofmeyer. In what was more mud wrestling than rugby, the Union boys managed to grind out a two-point victory. The game hung in the balance for the full 70 minutes with neither team giving an inch. The heavy rain resulted in it being a hard fought battle of attrition, where field position and minimising errors were the order of the day. Union scored two tries through Luthando Skapu and Iviwe Ndamane, both players showing exceptional skill to cross the whitewash. Matt Harpur converted both tries, which proved to be the difference at the final whistle. It was a satisfying 14 – 12 win for Union against a side that had convincingly beaten them the year before.

In the final match of the festival on Saturday, the Union boys took on Hoërskool Grens from East London. Fortunately, the weather was conducive to running rugby and Union was able to play a more expansive pattern which was pleasing to the spectators. Union were again forced to work extremely hard against quality opposition. Both teams scored an unconverted try in the first half and kicked a penalty goal to make it 8-8 at the half-time break. The Union team started the second half brilliantly, spreading the ball from point to point, forcing their opponents to make numerous tackles and cover loads of ground on defence. Union executed the plan to perfection and eventually ran in a further two tries as the Grens defenders seemed to tire somewhat. The boys were solid on defence and capitalised on their opportunities on attack to win the game 25 – 8. Union’s tries were scored by Cowan Swartz, Ikhona Koeberg and Luke McNaughton. Matt Harpur converted two tries and two penalties.

Day 1 Rugby Results
Winterberg Agricultural High School vs Hoërskool Andrew Rabie:  17 – 10
Paarl Gimnasium Daisies vs Linkside High School:  83 – 3
Grey High Unicorns vs Hoërskool Grens 2de Span:  42 – 5
Hoër Volkskool vs Westering High School:  14 – 19
Gill College vs Camps Bay High School:  48 – 0
Stirling High School vs Ithembilihle High Schoo:  34 – 10
Hoërskool Stellenbosch vs Hoërskool Grens:  12 – 12
Cambridge High School vs Pearson High School:  5 – 18
Union High School vs Hoërskool Charlie Hofmeyr:  14 – 12

No rugby on Day 2

Day 3 Rugby Results
Paarl Gimnasium Daisies vs Hoërskool Grens 2de Span:  63 – 0
Grey High Unicorns vs Camps Bay High School:  38 – 15
Hoërskool Charlie Hofmeyr vs Ithembelihle High School:  48 – 14
Cambridge High School vs Hoërskool Stellenbosch:  36 – 26
Pearson High School vs Stirling High School:  27 – 15
Winterberg Agricultural High School vs Westering High School:  13 – 41
Gill College vs Hoërskool Andrew Rabie:  24 – 19
Hoër Volkskool vs Linkside High School:  48 – 7
Union High School vs Hoërskool Grens:  25 – 8

Festival Hockey Report
Union’s 1st hockey team came into the festival with a lot of pressure hanging over the heads due to the below par performances so far this season. Their first match took place against Framesby, with the girls being extremely nervous. They couldn’t convert the opportunities that they had went down 1 – 0, but thanks to a spectacular goal by Micela Loock, the score was even at 1 all going into the break The Union girls finished the match on 4 – 1, with Jenna McNaughton scoring a hat-trick and Micela Loock scoring one goal.

Union played their second match against Paarl Gimnasium in heavy raining conditions, which made the Astro Turf slow. The Union girls dominated the game from the beginning to the end, but could only score one goal (by Rebecca Langmead), which enabled them to win 1 – 0.

The 3rd and much awaited game against the toughest opponents at the festival, Kingsridge High School, took place on day 2 of the festival. The Union girls were well prepared for the match and excelled in the 1st half with a well-rounded team goal from Micela Loock, and Rebecca Langmead scoring the second goal. Kingsridge piled on the pressure during the second half, but the Union girls held on for a 2-0 victory.

During Union’s 4th match, against Settlers High School, the Union players’ class in play and movement off the ball dominated the opposition. Settlers did not have any ball possession, but their defence made it difficult for Union to score. However, the Union girls broke through and managed to score two goals thanks to Jenna McNaughton and Rebecca Langmead. With Settlers not having much possession of the ball and Union being in the opposition territory most of the game, Union withdrew the goalkeeper to add more attackers to their field. Unfortunately they then conceded a goal, but soon rectified the decision by scoring another goal by Rebecca Langmead to win the game 3 – 1.

The 5th and final game saw Union get their X-Factor back to completely overwhelm Cambridge High with the game controlled by the classy centre back, Yente Retief, to win the game 6 – 0. Goals were scored by Micela Loock (2),Henze Jaftha (2), Jenna McNaughton and Rebecca Langmead.

Hockey statistics for the festival:
Played 5 won 5
Goals for: 15
Goals against: 2
Goal Scorers:  Jenna McNaughton (5), Rebecca Langmead (5), Micela Loock (4) and Henze Jaftha (2)

Day 1 Hockey results
Stirling High School vs Hoër Volkskool:  2 – 0
Paarl Gimnasium Invitational vs Kingsridge High School:  1 – 0
Westering High School vs Victoria Girls High:  3 – 0
Union High School vs Hoërskool Framesby:  4 – 1
Gill College 1 vs Linkside High School:  1 – 0
Cambridge High School vs Settlers High School:  0 – 3
Hoërskool Nico Malan vs Hoërskool Grens:  4 – 0
Gill College vs Kingsridge High School:  0 – 6
Victoria Girls High School vs Hoërskool Framesby:  1 – 2
Cambridge High School vs Hoërskool Nico Malan:  2 – 4
Union High School Invitational vs Linkside High School:  1 – 0
Stirling High School vs Settlers High School:  1 – 1
Union High School vs Paarl Gimnasium Inv:  1 – 0
Hoërskool Grens vs Westering High School:  0 – 5

Day 2 Hockey results
Cambridge High School vs Hoërskool Framesby:  2 – 0
Union High School Inv vs Nico Malan:  0 – 5
Stirling High School vs Gill College:  5 – 2
Kingsridge High School vs Settlers High School:  3 – 0
Paarl Gimnasium Inv vs Hoër Volkskool:  0 – 0
Victoria Girls High vs Hoërskool Grens:  3 – 1
Westering High School vs Gill College:  5 – 1
Cambridge High School vs Linkside High School:  3 – 0
Victoria Girls High School vs Hoërskool Nico Malan:  1 – 0
Paarl Gimnasium Inv vs Stirling High School:  0 – 1
Hoër Volkskool vs Linkside High School:  3 – 0
Hoërskool Grens vs Hoërskool Framesby:  0 – 1
Union High School vs Kingsridge High School:  2 – 0
Settlers High School vs Westering High School:  0 – 0

Day 3 Hockey results
Union High School vs Settlers High School:  3 – 1
Linkside High School vs Hoërskool Nico Malan:  0 – 5
Hoër Volkskool vs Hoërskool Grens:  5 – 1
Stirling High School vs Hoërskool Framesby:  1 – 0
Paarl Gimnasium Invitational vs Westering High School:  3 – 0
Victoria Girls High School vs Union High School Invitational:  2 – 1
Union High School vs Cambridge High School:  6 – 0
Hoër Volkskool vs Kingsridge High School:  1 – 4
Union High School Invitational vs Gill College:  0 – 0



On the 31st of March, two of our athletes travelled to Pretoria to represent Eastern Province in the South African Biathlon Championships. We are very proud of Candice Russel and Cameron Muir who both performed well at the event and surpassed the 2000 point benchmark. Candice placed 15th out of a field of 25 and scored an impressive 2114 points, while Cameron managed 12th spot in a field of 24, scoring 2065 points. These results are especially commendable when you consider that these placements reflect their positions in the entire country. Well done to you both!
Cameron Muir
Run time : 6:34:69
Run points : 982
Swim time : 1:12:72
Swim points : 1083
Total points : 2065
Position : 12/24
Candice Russell
Run time : 3:32:41
Run points : 1063
Swim time : 1:20:92
Swim points : 1051
Total points : 2114
Position : 15/25


UHS celebrates their Eco statue twice a year by having Eco-Wise Days. On Tuesday 27 March, we ended the first term enjoying various eco activities. Each class or grade decides on an eco-activity. For an hour and a half, from 11:00 to 12:30 the school is a bustle with joyful and worthwhile projects.

This term the projects on campus included: Learning about the problem of plastic in our oceans, learning more about our indigenous trees , picking up litter, the cleaning up of graffiti, making a recycled ball and playing duster hockey and there was a presentation on Inner Purity for the Grade 11. There were several off-campus activities too: Angel Park in the centre of town was cleaned up by a group of learners, another group of learners visited Huis van der Graaff and as they walked, they picked up litter in the streets and they gave gifts of Easter eggs to the residents, a different group of learners picked up litter at and around our Union Preparatory School and the grade 10s spent valuable time playing fun games with the young children from our Pre-School.
The grounds team also joined in with the spirit of the day as they offloaded the two new Jo-Jo water tanks which they will install on campus. These are sealed units and are fitted with filters, enabling clear rain water to be captured for drinking purposes. Thank you to all Eco Reps and staff for making this Eco-Wise Day worthwhile.