Friday, 24 January, marked the occasion of the Union Schools’ 101st birthday.
Traditionally, this day is celebrated by inviting Old Unionites to join us for a special assembly, in which members of the Preparatory School participate, and then to tea afterwards.
Doughnuts are also provided to the school’s learners on this day and they get to go home a little earlier than usual.
The special assembly was opened by the school’s principal, Mr William Pringle, who extended a word of welcome to all those present and delivered a short devotion.
Following this, the Union Preparatory School song, as well as the Union High School song, was beautifully sung by the learners.
Headboy Bowen Langmead then offered the school prayer, after which Mr Pringle spoke about the history of the school, subtly reminding us of the tradition and strength behind our school.
Headgirl Sakhe Booi, learner Anna-May Hayes and UPS learner Philip Kayster then delivered special messages in honour of the occasion.
After the cake was presented and the candles lit, the learners filed their way out of the hall to fetch their doughnuts and watch the sports for the afternoon.
As is customary, the Founders’ Day assembly brought much pride within the school hall.
Founders’ Weekend cricket matches
Union High School’s Old Boys and parents took to the field today in the traditional Founders’ Weekend cricket matches against the school’s 1st, 2nd, 3rd and u/15A cricket teams.
Congratulations to the Old Boys team for winning their match against the 1st XI school team.
A lot of fun was had as these matches are not only about what happens on the pitch but also on the sidelines and afterwards, as current and former Unionites of all vintages share some time together.
At the prizegiving ceremony held in the Tony Burrell Union this evening, Saturday, 25 January, upon conclusion of the day’s play, the following trophies were presented:
• Most valuable player of the day – 1st XI: James Pringle
• Best schoolboy performer – 1st XI: Josh Calitz (the trophy is shared with Mr Dave Stern who captained the victorious Old Boys’ team that managed to edge out the UHS 1st XI in their encounter today).
• Best Batsman – 1st XI: James Pringle
• Best Bowler – 1st XI: Lihle Mxhunyelwa
• Best Schoolboy Performer – 2nd XI: Kwande Mhlabeni
• Best Schoolboy Performer – u/15: Jude Langmead
The trophies were presented to the players by Mr Rory Sullivan.
Schoolgirls win turf war
The traditional Founders’ Weekend hockey matches between the Old Girls/moms and Union High School’s 1st Seniors and a mixed Juniors team, was played in spectacular fashion this past Friday afternoon, 24 January.
With very welcome rain clouds looming above, the mixed Juniors won their match against the Old Girls/moms by 2 goals to 1, while the 1st XI won their match 4 – 1.
During the prizegiving ceremony at the end of the day’s play, the award for the day’s best defender went to Brigitte Oelofsen, with the best goal being awarded to Laetitia Theron.
Congratulations to Laetitia Theron and Jade Shires who shared the award for the day’s best player.
Union High School extends its thanks to all those who participated and for the support received from the Old Girls and parents.
A special word of thanks is also extended to Jennifer Hope for taking the reins with the organisation of the event this year. As well as to all those who assisted her.
Annual Gisela Kingwill Mother & Daughter Morning
On Saturday morning, 25 January the school hosted its annual Gisela Kingwill Mother & Daughter Morning in the garden of the Union Preparatory School.
Organised by the Matric Farewell committee, the event is all about celebrating women and the special relationship that exists between a mother and her daughter.
This year’s event was a resounding success, with the 180 guests enjoying a beautiful morning of good company, scrumptious eats and entertainment from two exceptional guest speakers.
Corli Schoeman, owner of Alchemy Skin & Body and Niche Spa Consulting, and MP Samantha Graham-Maré gave truly inspiring talks, sharing their own life experiences with their captive audience to stress the importance of loving yourself – inside and out.
Guests were also treated to a performance by Melissa Swart on the clarinet and while the ladies were enjoying their delightful drinks and eats, the Grade 11s treated the little girls at a special pamper station set up especially for them.
As an additional fundraising endeavour, racks of lovingly-worn items of clothing were also set up and made available to purchase on a donation basis.
Union High School extends its grateful thanks to everyone who bought a ticket in support of this event. A special word of thanks is also extended to all the Grade 11s and their parents, as well as the many willing helpers, who assisted in organising this wonderful affair.
The organisers of this year’s event would also like to thank the following sponsors for their contribution to the day’s success: Alchemy Skin & Body, Blue Magnolia, Justine (Corrie Potgieter), Elsona, Our Yard, Polka Cafe. Bakery.Deli, Simply Nails, Tupperware (Diane Murray), The Muller House, The Windmill Junction, Magriki (Wilna Laubser) and EAT DIRT by Justshaz.
It doesn’t take much to make a sandwich. But sandwiches are all it takes to help feed the hungry in our community.
On Wednesday, 29 January, Union High School’s Interact Club launched their long-anticipated ‘Love Sandwiches’ project.
This ongoing project will see the learners of the respective grades at Union compete to see who can make the most sandwiches in aid of this initiative.
In Wednesday’s register class period, sixty sandwiches were made by a group of eager Grade 12 learners who supported this project by donating the required items, making the sandwiches and wrapping them up to go.
This first batch of sandwiches was delivered on Wednesday afternoon to the soup kitchen at the East Street Congregational Church.
The convenor of the soup kitchen’s committee, Mrs Minah Koetaan, expressed her grateful thanks towards the Union learners for their donation.
Union High School extends its thanks to the Grade 12s and their register class teachers, Mrs Cathy Pringle and Mr Christopher Felix, for assisting them in this endeavour.
We look forward to seeing what the other grades deliver!
Union’s u/13A cricketers were all smiles after a great afternoon of cricket against their local rivals, Laer Volkskool. The T20 match played on Wednesday, 29 January, saw the Union team winning the toss and electing to bat.
A good opening partnership gave Union’s batsmen the necessary momentum to bat with freedom leading to a respectable total of 199/3 after their allotted 20 overs.
The Union boys then took to the field with excitement and intent, as the opening bowlers immediately hit the right lines to put their opposition under immense pressure.
Laer Volkskool was bowled out for 14 runs after 5.4 overs leading to a 185-run victory for Union.
The match was played in great spirit and Volkskool has to be commended for the lovely sportsmanship displayed during this match.
Union’s top performers were Shaakir Kazi (52 runs and 11/2) and Jade Lothering (33 runs).
Two Union High School learners, cousins Daniel and Matthew McNaughton, recently participated in the NASP Interschools Archery Competition at the Daniël Pienaar Technical High School in Uitenhage.
Both boys did exceptionally well, with Matthew recording a score of 270/300 in the Bull’s Eye discipline and 266/300 in the 3D event and Daniel scoring a 273/300 in the Bull’s Eye discipline and a 264/300 in the 3D event.
Daniel was awarded a silver medal in the Senior Boys Class for the Bull’s Eye competition.
Last week, Union High School had a very special visitor.
Sofia Savage, the daughter of Old Unionite Gary Savage (Class of ’96) who currently resides in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was given the opportunity to attend lessons at Union during their visit to South Africa.
Although the original idea was for Sofia to visit the school for a day, she enjoyed herself so much, that she decided to spend the entire week at the school.
Sofia used the opportunity to immerse herself in the Union culture and to experience the world from a different viewpoint.
It was a pleasure having you here Sofia! We hope you’ll remember your time at Union fondly!
• Sofia (left) is seen here with one of her Union Grade 9 classmates, Caitrin Spence.
Union High School’s Grade 8s started their year with a fantastic orientation camp.
The aim of this camp is not only to promote positive interaction among the Grade 8 group but also to establish a relationship of mutual respect and collaboration between the Grade 8s and the school’s prefects.
So, on Wednesday morning, 22 January, the excited Grade 8s – accompanied by the guides from the Camdeboo National Park, Union staff members and school prefects – set off on a fun hike in wonderful weather through the scenic Camdeboo National Park, all the way to the park’s Environmental Education Centre.
Here, the Grade 8s enjoyed lunch after which they engaged in activities with the park’s educational team and then tackled a series of specially designed tasks that facilitated them working together as a grade and co-operating with the senior mentoring system in the school.
This was an excellent opportunity for the senior leaders of the school to get to know their younger charges.
The learners seemed to have a lot of fun while creating a lot of happy memories of this exciting phase of their schooling.
Although completely exhausted, the Grade 8s arrived back on campus on Thursday, 23 January, prepped, excited and ready to embark on the journey of being a senior at Union High School.
In Social Sciences yesterday (Tuesday, 21 January), Union’s Grade 9s discovered for themselves how the concept of contours is applied.
After drawing the contour lines onto their ‘butternut mountains’ using increasing water levels for accuracy, it became clear to them how contours are an ingenious tool to describe the physical landscape on maps.
The butternuts were made into a hearty soup afterwards!
Union High School’s annual Interhouse athletics day was held on Monday morning, 20 January.
As always, the day saw Interhouse rivalry and sporting prowess come together in a wonderful atmosphere.
Not only were the athletes determined and enthusiastic, but the spirited supporters – led by House Captains Sakhe Booi and Ezra Mangunda (Arnott) and Brett Amsterdam and Nangamso Xonti (Daly) – also contributed to the atmosphere.
Apart from the exciting sprints, shot put and long jump events, the day dished up some very memorable moments, in particular, the High Jump Boys Open event, won by Mack Rubidge, which drew a large crowd.
The nail-biting 100m Boys Open race had the spectators on the edge of their seats with Kwezi Simon (11,71s) coming in first, followed by Brett Amsterdam hot on his heels in second place (11,89s).
The relay Boys Open race – won by Daly House – also proved to be one of the day’s highlights with the traditional ‘Teacher vs Matric’ race concluding the day’s events.
All in all, this year’s competition delivered some outstanding results and was thoroughly enjoyed by all those who participated.
Some of the top individual performers of the day were:
• u/15 Victrix Ludorum – Wendy Albertyn Trophy: Lana Bouwer
• u/15 Victor Ludorum – Trevor Albertyn Trophy: Xander Kriel
• u/17 Victrix Ludorum – André Paris Cup: Erin Mitchell
• u/17 Victor Ludorum: Sisipho Arnols
• Open Girls’ Jumping Events: Jade Shires
• Open Boys’ Jumping Events: Mack Rubidge
• Open Girls’ Throwing Events – Cheryl Geard Trophy: Sakhe Booi
• Open Boys’ Throwing Events – Willem Theron Trophy: Mack Rubidge
• Open Girls’ Field Events: Laetitia Theron
• Open Boys’ Field Events – Reg Moore Cup: Mack Rubidge
• Open Girls’ Long Distances – Evan van Zyl Trophy: Jade Shires
• Open Girls’ Sprints – Zeta Marais Shield: Laetitia Theron
• Open Boys’ Sprints – Minnaar Cup: Matthew Carelse
• Senior Victrix Ludorum: Laetitia Theron
• Senior Victor Ludorum – Radium Cleaners: Mack Rubidge
• Most credible performance of the day: Ntsika Ngongoma
• Interhouse relays – Alex Murray Cup: Daly House
• Interhouse Shield Competition Winners: Arnott House
At the end of the day, the participants representing Arnott House were victorious with their 1 546 points, compared to Daly House’s 1286 points.