In anticipation of the School’s centenary celebrations in 2019, it was decided that a centenary arch should be designed and constructed to commemorate the occasion. Mr Bernie Weyer of Waterston Weyer Roon Architects was commissioned to supply the drawings for the arch inspired by an arch that exists on the farm Lochdale, belonging to Mr and Mrs George Hope. The builder was Mr Charlie Moos.
The bell for the arch, originally from Rietpoort Farm, was kindly donated to the School by Mr David Stern (Class of 1998). The ironmongery to the bell and the frame which houses it was kindly done by Mr Gustav Grassman of Grassies Staal of Graaff-Reinet.
The three plaques on the walkway leading to the arch were inspired by the learner representatives on the Union 100 Committee, Taylyn Miller and Peter Watermeyer. They read: TRUTH PSALM 43:3 SEND FORTH YOUR LIGHT AND YOUR TRUTH, LET THEM GUIDE ME; LOYALTY PROVERBS 3:3 NEVER LET LOYALTY AND KINDNESS LEAVE YOU! TIE THEM AROUND YOUR NECK AS A REMINDER; JUSTICE ISAIAH 1:17 SEEK JUSTICE, ENCOURAGE THE OPPRESSED
Contained in a vault in the arch and sealed with a plaque reading “BENEATH THIS STONE LIES A TIME CAPSULE WITH MESSAGES OF GOODWILL FROM THE SCHOOL TO BE OPENED IN 2069” is a container which houses information and messages to the School, which will hopefully survive for fifty years until it is opened in 2069. This was inspired by a time capsule that is rumoured to have been placed in the school building behind the foundation stone in 1919. This has, however, never been found.
Surrounding the arch is a garden of fifty of the Union 100 Rose, a rose that was commissioned specially for the occasion, and which will forever bear this name. This Union 100 rose project was managed by Mrs Alet Kingwill, and was paid for by an Old Unionite who wishes to remain anonymous.
The arch is a gift to the School from the Class of 2018 who paid for its construction.