Trash to Teaching Treasure

In an effort to promote an earth-friendly attitude, Union’s teachers are turning trash to teaching treasure in very interesting ways.

The learners in the Grade 8 Arts and Culture class, for instance, were recently tasked with creating outrageous hats from waste material, such as newspapers, bits of cardboard, foil and the like.

After the 1½ hour time limit, it was very interesting to note the learners’ individual interpretations of the theme.  Seen here are some of the learners showing off their one of kind, handmade hats.


HAH Bathroom Revamp Completed

In February, Union High School commenced with the renovation of the upstairs bathrooms as well as the guest bathroom at the school’s senior girls hostel, the Herby Arnott House.

The bathrooms, which were then gutted and completely redone by Colin Warner Plumbing, has recently been completed and the girls, as well as guests visiting the hostel, are now able to enjoy the new modern face-lifted facilities.




Old Unionite Lands a Golden Key Award

Graaff-Reinet local Gerrit Brink, the son of Sanette and André Brink, was recently invited to become a member of the Stellenbosch University’s Chapter of the esteemed Golden Key International Honour Society.

Gerrit, now a second-year student at SU, matriculated at Union High School in 2017, third in his class, boasting an A-aggregate and six distinctions.  By also excelling in his studies towards a BEng degree in Mechatronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University, Gerrit has now earned himself a lifetime seat at the Golden Key Society table.

The award is in recognition of Gerrit’s academic excellence and leadership while studying towards his degree.

Golden Key membership is the highest university accolade awarded only to students in the top 15% per field of study in any undergraduate and post-graduate degree programme, and it’s strictly by invitation only, so yes, a lifetime membership is no trivial feat.

Gerrit will be presented with his award in October of this year.

• More about Gerrit’s field of study:

Mechatronic engineering is a new focus area in engineering that promises to become even more important in the future, both in South Africa as well as internationally. With automation as the current key to productivity, the need for mechatronics (which makes it possible to generate simpler, more economical, reliable and versatile systems) increases by the day.

Mechatronic engineering is a synergistic combination of precision mechanical engineering, electronics and computer systems. A typical mechatronic system is characterised by close integration of the mechanical components, electronic sensors, mechanical and electrical actuators and computer controllers.

Mechatronic engineering is an interdisciplinary engineering field that specialises in the control of advanced hybrid systems.  These systems are found in numerous industry sectors where mechanical and electronic engineering are interfaced with computer systems, such as aerospace, automotive, chemical processing, computers, communications, electronics, healthcare, manufacturing and mining.

We Need You!

Union High School requires the assistance of a small crew of parent volunteers to help our food stalls run smoothly on the Saturday morning of Interschools weekend (10 August).

Volunteers are required from among the Grade 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 parents.

If you are willing to assist, even if it is just to work a 1-hour shift, please send your details to either Bronwen Langmead (071 875 8521) or Mariëtte Burger (061 310 8343).

Learners Excel in MinQuiz

On Thursday morning, 16 May, four of Union’s Grade 12 learners represented the school at the provincial round of the annual MinQuiz competition held at NMU in Port Elizabeth.

MinQuiz, organised by the Council for Mineral Technology (Mintek), is regarded as South Africa’s premier national Maths and Science competition for Grade 12 learners.  During this competition, the Union team members, Peter Watermeyer, Ethan Gedult, Megan Doyle and Sanja du Plessis, were pitted against the top Grade 12 learners of schools from all over the Eastern Cape.

To start, the learners first had to write a preliminary multiple-choice question test individually.  The learners performed very well in this round and based on the aggregate score of their written tests, Union was announced as one of the top five schools in the Gold category that would be competing during the second round of the competition, a live, on-stage oral quiz.  That afternoon, the Union learners then competed as a team against the four other teams on the auditorium’s stage in front of an audience and a panel of judges.  After a nervous start, the team gained momentum and finished third overall, winning R550 for the school.

The school congratulates these learners on their stellar effort!

Spreading Joy with Toys

On Friday afternoon, 17 May, a group of Union learners paid a visit to the Sonstraal Educare Centre, an early childhood development centre located in Santaville, Graaff-Reinet.

The purpose of the visit was to hand over a mountain of toys collected through Union’s recent toy drive.

Initiated by Mrs. Elaine Stanley, the project was launched earlier this year as one of the school’s Centenary projects and was aimed at alleviating the plight of this centre which cares for 45 children between the ages of 2 and 5, with minimal funding.

With the assistance of Ms. Jenny Street, this joint effort by the Union Prep School and Union High School’s Junior Department turned into a huge success with hundreds of toys being collected over the past couple of months.

Angeline Adams, who works at the centre, said the donation will go a long way in improving the lives of the children and that the kids cannot wait to play with their new toys.

The school would like to thank all the parents who donated so generously, the learners for all their efforts in collecting the toys and the community for assisting them in this endeavour.

• The Sonstraal Educare Centre is a non-profit organisation largely dependent on donations. Anyone wanting to assist or who would like to find out more about this centre can visit their facebook page at


Annual Junior (gr 8 – 9) Speech Competition

Outstanding young speakers at annual speech competition

Congratulations to the evening’s winner, Caitrin Spence, and runner-up, Grace Merrifield.

Union High School’s annual Junior Speech Competition was held on Tuesday evening, 7 May.

This year’s event saw eleven of the school’s junior Grade 8s and 9s go up against one another in an evening filled with thought-provoking speeches.

With speeches ranging from humorous to emotional, intellectual and serious, all who attended were captivated by the speakers and very impressed by the high quality of speeches and the obvious preparation that had gone into the evening.

Even though this event was a first for many of the learners involved, the experience was enjoyed by all.

Union would like to thank all the participants involved – it was pleasing to see so many enthusiastic learners presenting their speeches.



Centenary Clothing Range

In celebration of Union High School’s momentous Centenary year, the school has designed and created a special commemorative clothing range.

All the items can be viewed and bought at the UHS Clothing Shop.

If you have any queries or would like to place an order, please feel free to contact Mrs. Hestie Clegg on 082 825 1380, send an e-mail to or contact her via the school’s switchboard on 049 891 0262.









An Evening of One Acts

On Thursday evening, 9 May, a unique theatrical evening was held in the Union High School hall.

The biennial inter-house One Act Plays, hosted by the school’s Performing Arts Club, as usual, saw the school’s two houses – Arnott and Daly – pitted against one another.

The performances of the houses, however, weren’t judged as a whole this year, but instead by the individual performances of the actors, who scored points for their respective houses based on how well they played their part.

The themes of this year’s featured plays hit very close to home, with many of the learners and audience members commenting on how relatable they were in this day and age.

‘Bill, please’ – with lead actors James Rose-Innes and Asa Matross – followed a series of blind dinner dates that just couldn’t seem to get any worse. Despite the fact that they did, in fact, get worse, happiness still awaited the characters at the end of the long, dark tunnel.

The humour incorporated in this play produced a lot of belly laughs with the actors delivering an amazing performance.

The second play, ‘The Internet/Sidetracked’, demonstrated what a big a distraction the Internet can be when checking a few facts for a school project gets sidetracked by boxing cats, Facebook lurkers and pig-throwing games that, in the end, put schoolwork on the back burner.

Though the evening was full of laughs, in the end, a winning house and the best performances had to be decided upon.

James Rose-Innes, Tumi Teys, Buchule Siloti, Petra Jaftha and Melissa Swart

Buchule Siloti was recognised as the evening’s Best Supporting Actor with Petra Jaftha and Tumi Teys sharing the award for Best Supporting Actress.  James Rose-Innes and Melissa Swart were, respectively, awarded the Best Actor and Best Actress award.

The winning play was ‘The Internet/Sidetracked’ and the winning house this year, was Daly.

Thanks are extended to the judges, without whom this evening would not have been the success it turned out to be, Mrs. Paula Kingwill, Ms. Sherilee du Plessis, Ms. Vona van Rensburg and Mr. Erwin Itterhagen-Straus.

Thanks are also extended to the school’s senior choir who, accompanied by various individual performances, delighted the audience.

Lastly, a special word of thanks must be extended to Mrs. Sanette Brink for her constant support with the arrangements as well as to Mrs. Avrille Putter who offered to direct one of the houses, supported the process throughout and put in a lot of hard work to help the Performing Arts Club pull everything together.

Interschools Reunion Convenors

Class Head convenor Email Reunion
1961 Robin Abbott 58
1962 Robin Abbott 57
1963 Rob Henderson 56
1964 Adrian Arnott 55
1967 Audrey Adam (McNaughton) 52
1969 Dennis Houseman 50
1969 Noeleen Kotshan 50
1971 Lesley van Vuuren 48
1974 Michael Clarke 45
1974 Terry Debesh (Horwitz) 45
1979 John Barnardt 40
1979 Adrian Pienaar 40
1982 Brett Wilson 37
1985 Trenly Spence 34
1988 Kim Spencer Primic 31
1989 Michelle Kingwill 30
1991 Belinda Hunter 28
1994 Isabel van der Merwe 25
1995 Mandy Pelser 24
1999 Bronwen Jacobs 20
1999 Richard Collett 20
2014 Monique Holtzhausen 5