Bulletin May


The generous sponsorship from Caltex College Motors/ Fresh Stop and Hyundai Graaff-Reinet has afforded the Union High School and all involved this wonderful opportunity in Sport, and for this we wish to thank Mr Pierre le Grange most sincerely for his support of this highlight of the winter season. We take pride in our association with his companies.

It is always a privilege to be able to host an event of this nature and to extend a warm welcome to all our guest schools, parents and supporters who are attending our 19th Anne Beagley Junior Rugby and Hockey Festival.

Our Rugby and Hockey Festival has always tried to convey the idea that winning at all costs is neither the desired nor sole purpose connected to this occasion. On the contrary, the most essential objective of the event is the fostering of educational principles such as sportsmanship and camaraderie, and the opportunity to establish possible life-long friendships within an atmosphere of conviviality, enjoyment and healthy rivalry. We therefore appeal to all role players to make the most of this special occasion.

All the coaches and managers in attendance need to be complimented on their willingness to give up some of their free time to extend the educational horizons for those in their care. May their experiences be hugely gratifying in all respects.

Click here to view what is on special at FreshStop



Union High School hosted a very successful chess tournament on Saturday 16 June. They invited all the primary schools in Graaff-Reinet to join them, whether they are actively playing chess at their school or not. The idea is to promote chess at all schools in Graaff-Reinet so that they can establish a dynamic chess culture in the town. This would not be possible without the generous sponsorship from the Prescient Foundation.

The tournament started with an informal tutorial sessions where basic chess information was shared. The players from the schools were divided into four leagues according to their chess rankings. Three rounds were played where the scores were recorded to find the best three players in each league. A short tutorial session was held between each round to share more information about chess to the players who has never played chess before.

Chess boards and pieces were handed out to the top two players in each league, and another two players, who has never before played chess, were also given chess sets. All the prizes and refreshments for both the players and teachers were sponsored by the Prescient Foundation.

Union was fortunate to have players from Kroonvale Primer, Graaff-Reinet Primer, Laer Volkskool, Union High School and Isibane, as well as interested teachers for Ryneveld Primer! All primary schools in the immediate Graaff-Reinet district will be invited to the next open friendly tournament that will take place in the fourth term.

A friendly open tournament for high schools will take place next term at Union High School. Information about this event will be communicated to schools in due course. We urge all high schools to start a chess club at their schools so that they are ready to take part.

Please contact Mrs Rose-Innes (Primary Schools) and Mr Jantjies (High Schools) at Union High School (049 891 0262) for more information.


Riders on the Unogwaja Challenge left Willowmore on Sunday morning and will be hosted at our boarding houses tonight! Union High salutes these amazing athletes who are riding from Cape Town to Kwa-Zulu Natal, where they will then end their journey by running the Comrades Marathon, in aid of the worthy charities that they support!

What an honour it was for our termly boarders to meet up with the cyclists on the Unogwaja Challenge this afternoon, and to ride the last few kilometres into town with them! UHS salutes these incredible athletes and wishes them well on their journey to KZN!


The First Team were bitterly disappointed to go down 20 – 27 against Westering on Saturday. After leading 15 – 5 at half time, we seemed to panic when faced with a strong head-wind and repeatedly surrendered possession at critical times. We played into Westering’s hands and they did well to capitalise on their opportunities.

Our tries were scored by Olwethu Ngcai, Ben Kroon and Sibongiseni Baatjies.

Man of the match was Jason Beaumont, who tried his utmost best to give us forward momentum at set pieces and in the loose. As a tighthead, his work rate matched any loose forward on the field and he certainly left it all out there on the field.

We now have two weeks to right the wrongs and work towards filling in the missing puzzle pieces before our next encounter against Graeme College.
1st XV:  20 – 27
2nd Team:  45 – 5
U/16A:  43 – 0
U/15A:  17 – 15
U/14A:  24 – 19

U/15B vs Spanday:  7 – 29

1st Team:  7 – 1
2nd Team:  4 – 0
U/16A:  2 – 2
3rd Team:  0 – 1
U/16B:  0 – 4

RUGBY – vs Adelaide Primary
On Saturday our u13A rugby team played against Adelaide Primary in extremely windy conditions. Union scored first and kept their opponents under pressure throughout the match. The boys played to their strengths and controlled the game. This was truly an inspiring performance against strong opposition – Winning the match 19 – 7

The U/11A team won their match 5 – 0.

HOCKEY – St George’s Festival
The junior hockey girls finished off a very busy hockey week with a wonderful all-round performance at this festival. In an event that hosted over 600 girls, our girls most certainly did not disappoint. They played attractive hockey throughout and kept pushing till the end despite having played 7 games in the space of 2 days. The 1sts experimented with a slightly different game plan and responded well to the challenge with some good combinations, while the 2nds excited supporters by keeping up the pressure against strong competition.
The results were as follows:

2nd Team
Lost 1- 0 vs Merrifield 1st team
Won 2 – 0 vs Hermitage House
Won 4 – 0 vs Kingswood
Won 1 – 0 vs St Georges

1st Team
Lost 1 – 0 vs Clarendon
Won 1 – 0 vs Westering
Drew 0 – 0 vs Collegiate B
Won 2 – 1 vs Summerwood

Congratulations to all the girls on their wonderful efforts over the weekend and thank you to Mrs Pringle who gave up her Saturday to help coach the 2nds at the Festival.


 Final Round of Karoo Schools Hockey on Friday, 1 June.

Our 1st and 2nd Junior Hockey teams performed well on the last day of this round robin tournament and finished on a high.

The second team beat Graaff-Reinet Primer 3 – 0, and also beat Volkskool u/13 B 4 – 0. They are playing nicely together as a team and are beginning to see the benefits of these extra practice games.

The first team beat Gill College 1-0, drew 0 – 0 with the Middleburg Homeschoolers, and drew 1-1 with Volkskool. They played mature, pleasing hockey that was lovely to watch.


Loyal members of the Eco-club enjoying hiking the Crag Lizard trail at the Valley of Desolation on Friday afternoon.


Mr Pringle has been doing a series of chats with the learners at school about being gentlemanly and ladylike.

During this past week, Mr Pringle received a note from a staff member, Mrs Rose-Innes, about one of Union’s grade 7 learners…

“I would like to draw your attention to one of our learners, EIi Robile, who acted with absolute integrity and honesty. I was sitting in my classroom after having had a chess meeting one afternoon this week. Eli was waiting for his lift home in Caledon Street, when he noticed that the boot of my car was not properly closed. He also noticed that my handbag was in the boot. Eli closed the boot immediately and ran to me to tell me that he had closed it. He could have left it, but instead he did the right thing. I think that Eli should be commended for his honesty and integrity. Thank you, Eli!”

What a pleasure it is to receive notes like these praising our learners!


Mr Raymond Hamilton joins the Sports Department as Senior Sports Administrator. He has 8 years’ experience in high school teaching and 10 years’ experience coaching Rugby and Cricket at 1st team level.

He has also coached the Eastern Province U/30s Men’s Indoor Cricket Team to a Gold Medal in the National Indoor Cricket Tournament and was also appointed coach of the South African U/30s Men’s Indoor Cricket Team. He coached the Eastern Province Men’s Team which won Gold in 2016 in Mpumalanga.

His aim is to produce an energising, successful and creative sporting environment that will bring out the best in the learners and members of staff. He is a dedicated sports professional whose particular strengths lie in problem-solving, motivational skills, knowledge, passion, commitment and dedication.

We are pleased to welcome Mr Hamilton to our team.

Mr Alvin August joins the staff as Professional Hockey Coach. He has a Diploma in Sports Management and has represented Eastern Province Hockey and Eastern Province Age-group Cricket. Mr August is a husband, father of one child, avid sports fan and passionate Christian who loves children and coaching sport, and has extensive experience in cricket and hockey at senior level. He enjoys playing golf, and currently plays off a 12-handicap.

It is a pleasure to welcome Mr August to UHS where we anticipate him making an immediate impact. In the short time that he has been with us, he has impressed with his calm but firm manner and in his efficient umpiring of high-pressure hockey matches.

Mrs Zelda van Rooyen has joined the educator staff as a Music Teacher and has had an immediate impact on the learners, inspiring a love and passion for the piano, in particular. She has a B.Mus, US (Stellenbosch University), a Merit Award from UNISA (Directorate of Music, University of South Africa) Exceptional Tuition in Music Theory, and an Honour of Excellence Award in Music Practical and Theoretical Examinations.
She is currently tasked with preparing our pianists for the Associated Board of Royal Schools Examinations. She is also qualified to teach flute, theory, violin, voice and choir.

Mrs van Rooyen is a wonderful addition to our Music Department!

Mrs Maritza Burger joined our team as Debtors Clerk and has had an immediate positive impact on our Finance Department. She describes herself as having the ability to work under pressure, deadline-driven, determined to succeed, honest, loyal, hardworking and efficient.
She is competent in working with the following systems: Microsoft Word 2000, Microsoft Excel 2000, Microsoft Office Outlook 2007/2010, Sage VIP staffing solutions, Sage Pastel office edition and the Fingertec clocking system. She has extensive experience in the corporate and banking sectors and is a welcome addition to our team.


Union’s shooting team has been hard at work under the watchful eye of their new coach Christelle van Eck, who is guiding these enthusiastic young sharp-shooters! On Saturday 12th May Ryan Hobson, Kelly-Page Scott and Matthew Hesselink, travelled to Uitenhage where they participated in the Silhouette Shooting league. They shot in 3 categories, namely – Air Rifle Open sight, Air Rifle Unlimited and Sport Air Pistol. All 3 shottists achieved very good scores considering that it was the very first time that they were shooting in the latter 2 categories.

On Wednesday 23rd May, eight Union learners travelled to Marlow in Cradock to shoot for League points that will count in their favour. With five learners attending for the first time, coach Christelle van Eck complimented the regular team members who assisted the newcomers and encouraged them positively. Union is proud of Grace Merifield, Tammy James, Tessa James, Kelly-Page Scott, Lauren Waddelow, Matthew Hesselink, Ryan Hobson and Schea Johnson who are flying the flag high on the shooting front. Results are still pending and we look forward to seeing this team grow from strength to strength!


Due to a flu epidemic at Cradock High School, 1st team and under 16 A rugby matches were cancelled.
U/14A:  17 – 33
U/15B:  49 – 19
U/15A:  24 – 12
2nd Team:  20 – 10

3rd Team vs Marlow 4th team:  0 – 36

U/16A vs CHS 3rd Team:  12 – 0
2nd Team:  3 – 0
1st Team:  1 – 0
On Saturday the 1st Hockey Team played Cradock in a tricky encounter on a grass surface. The team deserves much praise as they approached the game with complete professionalism, and thoroughly enjoyed the encounter. The girls dominated the game, but could not finish their opportunities,
winning 1 – 0. Special mention must be made of Jenna McNaughton who played extremely well.


Congratulations to the following learners who have been selected to play for the Karoo U/15 rugby team at a tournament in Aliwal North on 22 and 23 June:
Michael-Joe Newton, El-Jero Ellie, Siphesihle Goliath, Joseph Barker, James Pienaar and Liam Langeveld.


14:00 3rd Junior Team
14:40 2nd Junior Team
15:20 1st Junior Team

Time     Rovers A     Rovers B
14:00     U/11A         U/13B
15:00     U/13A         U/11B


Some of our actors, musicians and dancers took part in ‘Stars of the Karoo’  – a local talent show that showcased the incredible, diverse talent in our town! These dedicated learners found extra time to practise outstanding performances which the entire town enjoyed at the John Rupert Theatre. It was heart warming to see our learners working in unity with learners from other schools in Graaff- Reinet, dancing together or accompanying each other in music and song. Congratulations to all these learners who really did Union proud! Special thanks must also go to our parents – Anziske Keyster, Wilmari Spence, Chinelle Marais and Laura Knott-Craig who organised this fantastic show.


Last Friday our 1st and 2nd Junior hockey teams took part in the 2nd round of the Karoo Hockey tournament, but were slightly less successful than in the previous round.

The 2nd team played well and racked up a 1-0 win against Graaff-Reinet Primêr and a 0-0 draw against Laer Volkskool u13 B in their first outing in this tournament.

The 1st team did not fare as well in this round. They lost 1-0 against the Homeschoolers, and drew 0-0 against Laer Volkskool u13 A. While play in general was good, inaccurate passes put our girls under unnecessary pressure and made our games harder than they should have been.

We are looking forward to the opportunity to improve our results in the next round.


The matric Farewell of 2018 was a glittery evening to say the least! Right from the small and big (really big) vehicles, to the final, barefoot dance, the matrics were smiling from ear to ear.

After walking down a fairy-lit carpet we entered into an equisite forest! Our eyes feasted on stumps, candles and pine cones as we mingled and took a few precious pictures. We were then escorted downstairs to the picturesque dining area. We ate, laughed, danced and made memories that we will never forget.

Thank you to the Grade 11 class, Matric Farewell Committee and everyone else who was involved in making the evening so special!
(By Rebecca Langmead)


U11A:  15 – 12
U13A:  26 – 10


The grade 6 class had to create mandalas this term in visual arts. They decided to assemble nature mandalas.

They discussed and applied the following design principles: symmetry, contrast, repetition and harmony!
Beautiful work by our Grade 6s!


The Grade 10K glass filled 26 bottles for the Eco-brick project. Pictured here are Eco reps, Katherine Imrie, Liyema Sonjani and
Erin O’Halloran. Erin filled almost 20 bottles!


The provincial round of the Minquiz competition was held last week in Port Elizabeth where schools from the around the Eastern Cape participated. A team of three Grade 12 pupils, Amanda Brink, Michael Krige and Kelly Rose-Innes, represented Union High School at the competition.

They endured a tough individual written quiz in the morning where they had to answer 40 multiple choice questions in only 45 minutes. They did very well to make it through to the oral quiz of the Gold section which was held after lunch.

The oral quiz was even more demanding. They faced off against 4 other teams on the stage watched by an audience and a team of judges. Not only were the learners required to recall and apply a scientific or mathematical concept, but they also had to manipulate formula and a host of numbers in their heads. All this was done with no calculators or writing tools and to top it off they only had 30 seconds to come up with an answer. No wonder the standard answer was always C!

Even though the team was not placed amongst the top 3 in the final round, they gained a great deal of experience and fun was had by all.


Thursday, 17 May
U/11A: 10 – 10
U/13A: 31 – 12

Friday, 18 May
Inaugural day of first Karoo Round Robin Tournament
Union High welcomed five Karoo teams to take part in the first round of this much needed tournament. A wonderful initiative that hopes to grow the sport of hockey in our area. The participating teams were Union, Cradock, Graaff-Reinet Primary, Gill and Middleburg Homeschoolers. Union got off to a promising start by notching up two wins and a draw. The Union girls hope to produce even better results in the 2nd round.

We thank all the participants for travelling so far to join us. It was especially wonderful to see the introduction of Graaff-Reinet Primary School to our Karoo league. We wish them all the best for this season.

Saturday, 19 May
Junior 5th team:  0 – 0
Junior 4th team:  0 – 0
Junior 3rd team:  0 – 0
Junior 2nd team:  1 – 0
Junior 1st team:  0 – 0
Our Junior hockey teams travelled to Port Elizabeth this weekend to face up against some strong competition at Lorraine Primary. We were happy to be able to field 5 teams for this fixture and it was super to see some girls who had never played hockey before, coming forward to help fill the teams.
The day was evenly matched all round, and both schools battled for the upper-hand throughout. The only goal of the day was scored by Ferronique Booysen for the 2nd team and this, in turn, led to the only win of the day. The 2nd team won 1 – 0, while all the other games ended in goalless draws.

1st team match report
This midday fixture on a hot and dry day left both teams struggling to maintain the blistering pace they set for themselves from the outset. Regardless of this, it was impressive to watch the girls continue to give their all in a physical and fast-paced encounter. The run of play changed constantly and neither team was ever in complete control of the game.

The girls played exceptionally well and it was so pleasing to see their continued determination and maturity despite their exhaustion. On noticing the visible fatigue in both teams, the coaches came to a mutual agreement to cut the game short by 5 minutes in the interests of health safety, and the game ended in a scoreless draw.


A Top level club meeting, attended by twelve of our top academic learners and five Eco-Representatives from the primary school accompanied by Ms Street and Mrs Rose-Innes, was held on 16 May 2018. This meeting was addressed by Mr Jurg Wagener who was accompanied by his wife, Rita. He is the owner of Sterland Stargazing in Sutherland, and is running a training session on stargazing over three days in Graaff-Reinet.

Mr Wagener explained that stars consist of gases exploding, that blue stars are young stars and red stars (owing to temperature) are fading away. Each star has its own beauty and characteristics. He also illustrated the difference between the Southern, Diamond and False Cross and how to recognise them in the constellation. He further shared how and where to identify SCORPIO, ORION and planets such as JUPITER, SATURN and VENUS . The presentation was interesting and enough to unlock the curiosity of our learners.


Congratulations to the following girls on their selection to Eastern Province Hockey Teams:
(photograph left to right)
Chloe Shires u/14B
Micela Loock u/18B
Candice Russell u/18B
Yente Retief u/18B


Union High hosted a very successful friendly chess tournament on Monday 14 May. We had a record number of chess players participating – a total of 110!

The following primary schools took part: Laer Volkskool, Laerskool Karel Theron, Gill College, Graaff-Reinet Primêr, Kroonvale Primêr, Cradock Primary and Union High School.

The following high schools participated: Hoër Volkskool, Marlow Hoërskool, Cradock High School and Union High School. Each chess player played four matches. It was a very enjoyable afternoon of chess.

SPORT RESULTS – 11 / 12 MAY 2018

On Friday, various hockey teams travelled to Port Elizabeth, to face Collegiate Girls High, one of Union’s toughest opponents of the season. The Union girls showed a lot of resilience and determination and did the school proud by playing with heart until the very end, in a very entertaining match, which produced phases of quality hockey. A special mention must be made of goalkeeper, Sima Desemela, whose performance was one of pure quality.
1st Team: 0 – 3
2nd Team: 0 – 7
U/16A: 0 – 4
U/16B: 0 – 3

Burgersdorp – Hockey
2nd Team vs Burgersdorp 1st Team: 1 – 0
3rd Team: 0 – 0
U/16B: 1 – 0

Burgersdorp – Rugby
1st XV: 8 – 13
Conditions were not ideal and the cold, wet weather forced us into an unfamiliar playing style but, regardless, we let ourselves down on Saturday. We scored early and perhaps this lulled us into a false sense of security. Our opponents put us under tremendous pressure by holding onto possession and forcing us to make countless tackles. This took its toll on our energy levels when we did get the ball and we lost composure at crucial times. A lack of discipline in our half allowed them to edge their way ahead on the scoreboard and we could not recover. Breyton Damons was the sole try scorer and Matt Harpur kicked a penalty. We certainly had our chances but failed to convert, losing the match 8-13.

Backline player of the match goes to Sibongiseni Baatjies who defended like a trojan and fought his hardest to get us on the front foot from set-pieces. The fact that his playing kit was barely recognisable was indicative of how committed he was throughout the game. The best forward was Cleathon Koeberg, who grabbed only his second chance in the starting line-up with more than both hands. He punched above his weight with ball in hand and his physicality on defence proved that he is up to the challenge of wearing the White Jersey. Hard work and soul-searching will be the order of the day over the next two weeks.

2nd Team: 17 – 12
U/16A: 24 – 10
U/15A: 24 – 17
U/14A: 35 – 19


13 UHS learners travelled to Despatch to represent Union High at the bi-annual Despatch Kunstefees. Together they prepared 29 items ranging from poetry, monologues, dramatised prose, dialogues and dramatised poetry. Our learners did exceptionally well and we are very proud of them. They were awarded two B’s, two B+’s, nine A’s, and 11 A+s. We are very excited about the five A++ (above 90%) certificates awarded to three of our extremely talented girls!

Here are the results
1. Amahle Finca: A
2. Keoarana Letube: A, A
3. Musa Zweni: A, A
4. Sasha Cochrane: A, A+
5. Aziza Mduduma: A+, A+
6. Sisipho de Vos: B, B+, A
7. Aaminah Steele: B, A, A+
8. Lolitha Saki: B+, B+, A+
9. Erin Gedult: A, A+, A+
10. Cadee Arends: A+, A+, A+
11. Brigette Oelofsen: A+, A++, A++
12. Caitrin Spence: A+, A++, A++
13. Rachel Houseman: A+, A+, A+, A++


Last Thursday evening UHS hosted Asherville High School in a Prepared Speech Competition for Grade 10 learners in The Tony Burrell Union.

The evening was most enjoyable, and Mrs Grewar would like to thank all those who were brave enough to speak. Well done to Kwezi Simon who was placed first.

A word of thanks to Laeticia Theron for her part in welcoming the guests and to Somila Batala, Bowen Langmead and Déger Williams for adjudicating. They certainly did a wonderful job and gained insight into what constitutes a good speech.

We look forward to the Grade 11 Speech Evening which will be held later this term.


Union’s junior hockey teams travelled to Somerset East today to play against Gill Primary.
3rd Team:  1 – 0
2nd Team:  1-0
1st Team:  0 – 0


UHS vs Aliwal North High School
Rugby Results
The Union first team fought their way to a narrow 24 – 21 victory over Aliwal North on Saturday. In unusually warm conditions the boys struggled to build any continuity and made too many errors, which resulted in much frustration from the players themselves, as well as spectators. It was a real ding-dong battle with the lead changing several times. Fortunately, Union was able to score three excellent tries and dug deep on defence which secured the win against tough opposition.

Breyton Damons finished off an excellent passage of play to score Union’s first try. Cowan Swartz then showed his class by scoring two long range individual tries either side of halftime. Matt Harpur converted all three tries and kicked a penalty.

Backline player of the match once again goes to Cowan Swartz, who seems to glide through defences with ease and create scoring opportunities with every touch.

Forward of the match was Gary Shell. He got through a mountain of hard work and stood his ground on both sides of the scrum.

It wasn’t a fluent performance, but sometimes a close win builds character and mental toughness, which are things that can’t be coached. The team can be proud of themselves for winning, despite feeling that they weren’t at their best.

Further results
2nd Team:  34 – 5
U/16A:  21 – 0
U/15A:  0 – 12
U/14A:  19 – 5

Hockey Results
At Saturday’s match against Aliwal North three of the Union 1st Team hockey players, Micela Loock, Sima Desemela and Jenna McNaughton, received their 100 caps for the 1st team. We congratulate these three players on this great achievement, and thank them for their hard work and dedication. 

Jenna McNaughton Sima Desemela Micela Loock

During the match, Aliwal North set up a very negative game plan which made it difficult for the Union girls to finish off the hard work they were putting in. Nevertheless, the Union team was far too strong for the Aliwal team winning, the match 4-0.  Rebecca Langmead scored a hat trick and Kelly Rose-Innes scoring her 1st goal for the 1st Team.

Further results:
2nd Team:  5 – 0
U/16A:  7 – 0
3rd Team:  1 – 0

Junior rugby & hockey results vs Westering Primary
Rugby results
U/13 rugby
In their match against Westering Primary, it being only their second official match of the season, the under 13 boys played with great passion and dominated the collision. Unfortunately, they enjoyed very little possession and towards the end of the game their opponents ran in two soft tries. Although the boys lost 5-27, this team is constantly improving and seem to be very close to securing future victories.

Hockey results
1st Team
Union’s 1st Junior team fielded a slightly depleted team due to injuries and illness, and seemed a little slow off the mark. A goal from Westering was needed to shake the Union girls into action. After realising they were 1-0 down, they suddenly started to take back control of the game. Soso Mroro equalised the scores with a spectacular individual effort, which saw her carrying the ball from her own defensive circle, finishing it off by smashing it deftly past their keeper. Soso also scored the second goal after a beautifully timed pass from her wing, Chloe Erasmus, to give us the 2-1 win.

Player of the Match for the 1st team undoubtedly goes to Musa Zweni who weathered numerous attacks from the opposing team and pulled off some phenomenal saves in the process. Without her composure in the box, the outcome would most certainly have been very different. On this note, we would like to thank Sima Desemela, the 1st team keeper, who spent time with the junior keepers during the week to impart some of her vast knowledge. The work she did with them was evident in both matches.

Second Team
The 2nd Juniors were first up and taking the hot, energy-sapping conditions in their stride, they launched their attack on the home team. The play was fairly evenly matched though and after a ding-dong battle for possession, neither team were able to score resulting in the game finishing in a goalless draw.

3rd and 4th Junior hockey teams also played against Westering. Both teams lost 1-0 but gained valuable match practice.