Standout Titles Added To Library Collection

At Union, we continuously strive to nurture a love of reading among our learners by providing them with access to current and relevant collections of fiction and non-fiction books at the school library.

Although Union has wholeheartedly embraced the digital revolution, the school’s traditional library services remain strongly integrated into the learning fabric of the school.

Author Alan Landau

It therefore goes without saying that we were extremely excited when we were recently gifted two complete sets of the Langbourne novels by author Alan Landau.

The Langbourne novels, a series of five books, consist of: #1 Langbourne, #2 Langbourne’s Rebellion, #3 Langbourne’s Empire, #4 Langbourne’s Evolution and #5 Langbourne’s Loyalty.

All five books reached Amazon’s Top 10 Best Seller List shortly after being released.

Based on a true story, the learners at Union will undoubtedly enjoy following David and Morris Langbourne on their epic African adventure.

#1 Langbourne:
Fleeing persecution in Poland, a young Jewish family settled in England where two brothers (aged only 15 and 16) begin work in a cigarette factory. Enduring poverty and scant support from their father after their mother dies, the brothers, Morris and David, decide to take matters into their own hands and set sail for Africa. Without friend or family at their destination, they start a tobacco business and learn to adapt to the way of life, the cultures and wildlife of a very new and strange world.

#2 Langbourne’s Rebellion:
After selling their tobacco business, Morris and David set off to open a business as general traders north of the Limpopo River, at a settlement called Bulawayo, in a new country called Rhodesia. With unbelievable courage, these two boys risk their lives to walk northwards into the African bush for three months. What they don’t know is that tensions are rising between the Matabele nation and the European settlers.

#3 Langbourne’s Empire:
After losing almost everything in the Matabele rebellion, the brothers begin to rebuild their devastated business. With Morris’ sharp brain, and David’s limitless energy, they begin in earnest, taking massive risks. But no one could have seen plague, drought, disease and war on the horizon.

#4 Langbourne’s Evolution:
As their business matures, so do the boys. Morris decides the time is right for them to expand the business into Europe and he leaves his younger siblings to grow the African operation while he returns to his homeland in Ireland. But, Africa works in her mysterious ways; good plans are always put to the test, and this is no exception for the Langbourne brothers.

#5 Langbourne’s Loyalty:
Early 1900, and the Anglo Boer War is almost over, or so everyone thinks. It is also a time for joy, marriages and family, but also sorrow and sadness. The early years of 1900 bring opportunities for prosperity, and in true Langbourne style, they take risks and knuckle down to capitalise on them. But to do this, loyalty is paramount, and it comes in all sorts of ways, and from some very unexpected quarters.

Sevens Rugby

Ask any rugby fan the most exhilarating way to play and watch the game, they’re likely to answer: Sevens rugby.

As the curtain starts to close on the official schools rugby programme for the season, a unique blend of 20 schools brought their u/17 rugby talent together at Framesby High School in Port Elizabeth on Friday and Saturday, 23 and 24 August, for the school’s second annual Langerry u/17 Sevens Rugby Tournament.

Among those were twelve Union players, coached by Mr. Hanno Sparrius and Mr. Christopher Felix, who set off early Friday morning to participate in this tournament.

Over the course of the tournament, Union came up against some tough opposition, but the boys gave it their all and managed two out of six victories, most notably coming from behind to beat John Walton 21 – 19 in an entertaining fixture.

In other results, Union won against Otto du Plessis 21 – 10, lost against Framesby 50 – 0, won against John Walton 21 – 19, lost against Pearson 43 – 7 and lost against Volkskool 35 – 24 (in the Bowl quarter final).

This was an enjoyable tournament, with many positives taken and lessons learnt about this wonderful game.

Union commends the team on their great sportsmanship and being fine ambassadors for the school.

AKH Annual Dinner & Awards Evening

On Thursday evening, 15 August, the gentlemen of Union’s Arthur Kingwill House enjoyed their annual house dinner and awards evening in the Tony Burrell Union.

The Union was transformed beautifully for this auspicious occasion, with candlelight and great camaraderie creating a wonderful ambience.

The event was an opportunity for the hostel’s staff and learners to reflect back on the year, to celebrate and recognise the immense growth each boarder experienced in this time, as well as to say farewell to the matric group.

This year, they were joined by the little Max Kroonies, who have temporarily made Arthur Kingwill House their home while renovations are underway at their boarding establishment.

It was heart-warming to see the respect the little ones have for the older learners and a short video made by the Max Kroon boarders, in which they go into detail about how much they love living at AK House, was enjoyed by all.

It was also great to see the ‘gents’ – from Grade 1 right through to Grade 12 – dressed in their formal attire. The learners represented themselves very well and enjoyed a truly memorable evening.

To start the evening, Mr. Donald Kingwill, Superintendent of Arthur Kingwill House, welcomed the guests and thanked all those who had contributed to the success and happiness of the past year, particularly the 2019 Grade 12s and prefect body. They have led the boarding house with quiet dignity and a passion for the school which doesn’t go unnoticed.

The evening’s highlight, as always, was the awards ceremony. The following awards were presented:

• Arm Wrestling Champion:  Damon Fouché
• AKH Braai Master:  Vincent Clarke
• For the person who made the kick when it mattered:  Owen Paxton
• Grade 1 – 4 Sportsman of the Year:  Owen Paxton
• Senior Sportsman of the Year:  S’bongakonke Koyingana and Bowen Langmead
• Junior General Knowledge Champion:  Bradley Davenport and Daniel Short
• Senior General Knowledge Champion:  Lunga Zantsi and Matthew Hesselink
• Grade 1 – 4 Academic Achiever:  Jake Hobson
• Top Academic (Grade 5 – 7):  Matthew Paxton
• Top Academic (Grade 8 – 9:  Jude Langmead
• Top Academic (Grade 10 – 12):  Bowen Langmead
• Service Awards:  Khanya Butshingi, Luke McNaughton, Iviwe Ndamane, Zusakhe Ngwana and Peter Watermeyer.
• The boarder who contributed most to hostel life by being punctual, neat, courteous and well-behaved:  Khanya Butshingi and Peter Watermeyer.
• Fidelitas Awards:  Khanya Butshingi and Peter Watermeyer.

The prefect body for 2020 – those who will lead this boarding house and take care of the younger boys over the next year – was also announced.

Well done to Jaden Botherton (Head Prefect), supported by Bowen Langmead (Deputy Head Boy), Sicelokuhle (SO) Sishuba, Buchele Siloti and Matthew Hesselink.

We wish them everything of the best as they assume their duties.

The boys then enjoyed the famous “Union steaks” and ice-cream with chocolate sauce after which they were led by Konke Koyingana in song – a part of the evening which always highlights the spirit of the boarding house and provides outsiders with a small glimpse of the ‘behind-the-scenes’ hostel life.

Old Unionite Scoops Prestigious Award

In South African creative circles, winning a Loerie Award is an incredible honour.

The Annual Loerie Awards ceremony is the biggest gathering of creative heavy-hitters in Africa and the Middle East, bringing a variety of industries together to compete for the highest accolade recognising creativity and innovation across these regions.

With over 2 500 entries submitted in a variety of categories, including television, radio and print, graphic design, architecture, direct marketing and digital media, it is truly an impressive achievement to walk away with an award on the night. Of the 296 Loeries awarded at the 41st Loerie Awards held at the Durban ICC this past weekend, one of them was presented to a very recent alum of Union High School.

Rebecca Langmead, Union’s Head Girl of 2018, was awarded a bronze Loerie in the Student Category for a ‘Peter and the Wolf’ book cover she designed.  Rebecca is a first-year student at the Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography where she is studying towards a degree in Visual Communications, majoring in Illustration and Graphic Design.

Union High School would like to congratulate Rebecca on this wonderful and impressive achievement, especially considering the strong competition she was up against.  An accolade of this nature being awarded to a past Head Girl of the school has created huge excitement. We’re extremely proud of Rebecca for demonstrating her creative dexterity and delighted that her work has been recognised.

Rebecca hopes to follow a career as graphic designer – we foresee a long, industrious and awarded career!

Cleaning Up While Preparing For Odyssey

With this year’s Odyssey just around the corner, Union’s Grade 10s meet each Monday to get used to walking on rough terrain with their packs.

This enthusiastic bunch of girls enjoyed their hike yesterday afternoon on Mountain Drive.  They also noted the amount of litter along the route and decided to take black bags with them next week to collect what unscrupulous people have left behind.

Snr Tennis – Marco Wasserman Tournament

Union High School’s Top 8 boys’ and girls’ tennis players took part in the annual Marco Wasserman tennis tournament, played in Middelburg this past weekend.

Over the course of the two days, the players competed in a Round Robin doubles and mixed doubles format against six other schools.  Despite strong competition, the Union learners acquitted themselves very well, playing excellent tennis and coming away from the experience with plenty of lessons learnt.  Having lost 10 matric players, the team is entering a building phase, but the newcomers to the team definitely showcased their potential during the tournament.

While the Top 4 boys and girls played tenaciously, they were mostly outplayed in the A section which was won convincingly by Pearson High School.

The second team ended in a very admirable 3rd place in the B section, which was this year won by Aliwal North High School.

As always, the players made the school very proud with their impeccable behaviour and a special word of congratulations is extended to Bowen Langmead, who won an award for his excellent manners on and off the court, Brent Hesselink who received an award for his determination, Sara Kingwill who won the award for the player with the most potential and Chloe Shires who received an award for sportsmanship.

Little Moves of Kindness

Little moves of kindness

How many of us have thought of doing something good for the world and making a difference in someone’s life but never found the time for it?

James Rose-Innes, a Grade 10 learner at Union High School, is not only contributing to the society in his own little way but in the process he is making use of his favourite game, chess, to make a difference!  His initiative to teach the game of chess to children at Vuyani Safe Haven originated as a Life Orientation project, but in time, turned into so much more.

A little while ago, five of Vuyani’s children had no idea what chess was about and now, little over two months later, some of them are representing their respective schools in Interschools matches.  “I am very grateful to the management of Vuyani for allowing me to discover these hidden talents in their kids. Without their hospitality and charitableness, this would not have been possible,” says James.  “I truly believe that an educational activity such as chess can play a vital role to empower and uplift a community,” he continued.  “In chess the learners are taught to think ahead and not just to make any move. Every move you make on the chess board must count – from the very first move in the opening game right through the middle game till the very last move in the end game you must think ahead. Why is it so important to think ahead in real life as in chess? If you do not think ahead and make the wrong moves (choices), such as taking drugs, the game is over and you are in checkmate!”

Union extends its thanks to Vuyani for facilitating James’ coaching sessions and for giving him the opportunity to make a difference while promoting the great game of chess.

Chess – Final Trials

The final trials to select the players that will represent the Chris Hani District at the upcoming South African Junior Chess Championships (SAJCC), were held this past Saturday, 17 August, at Union High School.

The top players from various schools in the district participated.  At the end of the day’s play, nine bright Union minds were among those invited to be a part of the team.

The SAJCC, the largest junior sporting event of any sporting code in South Africa, will be held in Johannesburg from 4 to 12 January 2020.  The event will involve more than 2 300 participants, between the ages of six and 19 years, from across South Africa.

The nine Unionites who will be participating in this epic battle to outsmart each other for the title of national champion in their respective age groups, are (u/18A) James Rose-Innes, Tracy Petitt, Matthew McNaughton, reserve Mihan Campbell, (u/16) Cassidy Goliad, Wade Edwards, (u/14) Na’eem Mahomed, Camran Swartz and reserve Neelan Fourie.

The Crochet Club

Union’s Jayden Odendaal and Anebel Norval and Spandau’s Lukhanyiso Witbooi, Stephanie Swartz and Temia Jantjies at the Midlands Hospital.

Union High School has an array of after-school activities. Recently, however, another activity has been added to the mix.

Union’s Crochet Club, implemented by Mrs. Hanli Rose-Innes and Mrs. Bethia Feldon, meets once a week and offers learners the opportunity to acquire the skill of crocheting, while also contributing to a charity project.  Participation in the club’s activities isn’t limited to Union, with learners from Spandau Secondary School having also proven quite deft with the crochet hook.

The club’s first project was to crochet baby beanies for the patients at the Midlands Hospital – the first batch was delivered just this week.

Thanks to the support of the Prescient Foundation, the learners are able to purchase their crochet needles and wool from Loop Wool Boutique, who also supply all the necessary craft items at a welcome discount.  For every four beanies a learner completes, they are rewarded with a voucher for one ball of wool, in this way they can crochet with the aim of acquiring enough wool to create something for themselves.

The club hopes to knit about 30 beanies a month.

It is apparent that the club means a great deal to the learners as many of them have put in a lot of time and effort in refining this new skill and completing their beanies.

Although the immediate goal is to produce handmade projects, it is ultimately hoped that crochet will be a lifelong gift of creativity and giving for each participant.