A Stalwart Retires

At a special staff function held at Union High School earlier today (Thursday, 28 November), special tribute was paid to Mr Rory Sullivan who will be retiring at the end of this year.
Not many people in life truly shape who we are. But, over a career spanning several decades, Mr Sullivan was one of those exceptional individuals who managed to shape, nurture and impact the lives of thousands of young learners in the most remarkable ways.
Mr Sullivan embarked on his career in teaching after matriculating from Union High School in the famous year of 1969.  Prior to accepting a post at his alma mater, he taught at Grey Junior and Victoria West High School.  It was in 1980 that Mr Sullivan’s long association with Union – not as a learner or as a talented sportsman – but as an enthusiastic educator, commenced.  Shortly after being appointed at the school, Mr Sullivan also took up the position of Superintendent of Barnard House.
In 1989, Mr Sullivan decided to take a break from teaching.  Fortunately for Union, the little word “however” crept in and he decided to yield to the pull of education and returned to teaching in 1996.
In 2003 he took a leap of faith and accepted a post in Abu Dhabi. He also had the privilege of coaching rugby in the USA during 2004.  After his sojourn overseas, he, once again, returned to Union where he has been at the front of the classroom, teaching ever since.
For those who know Mr Sullivan, a very important word in his vast vocabulary is, of course, rugby!  Although he is regarded as an exceptional coach of multiple sporting codes, rugby is where he shines the brightest. His passion for the game is almost tangible.
You would be hard pressed to find someone better able to recall all the amazing memories made on the rugby fields at Union – the scores, the moves, the tries, the lows, the highs, the best and the worst. They say memory fades as the years go by but Mr Sullivan continues to astound his colleagues when he takes a trip down Rugby’s memory lane.
Now, as he heads into retirement and begins a new chapter in his life, we wish Mr Sullivan a wonderful retired life ahead!  In reality we know that this goodbye is not really goodbye – we’ll be saying hello often as he continues his association with the school as Herby Arnott House’s Superintendent.

Clothing Shop Hours

Please take note:

The Union Schools’ Clothing Shop will be open from 08:00 to 13:00 up until Tuesday, 3 December.

On Wednesday, 4 December, it will only be open from 08:00 to 10:00.

(From Monday, 2 December, as a result of the marking centre at UHS, all visitors to the Clothing Shop must please enter the school grounds through reception at the main building.)

• At the start of the 2020 school year, the Clothing Shop will be open on Monday and Tuesday, 13 and 14 January, from 09:00 to 16:00, after which regular times will resume.

Last Matric To Finish

Union’s 2019 Headgirl Jenna Mcnaughton, who wrote Music P1 and Music P2 on Wednesday, 27 November, is officially the last Union matric to finish this year’s Grade 12 NSC examination.

Not to be outdone, Jenna also kicked off her shoes at the Bruce Maree Gates, adding to the heap of shoes already donated by the rest of her matriculating classmates yesterday.

Read more here: http://www.unionschools.co.za/2019/11/27/matrics-donate-shoes/

Nedstar Ambassadors

Congratulations to Micela Loock and Jenna Mcnaughton on being selected as Nedstar Hockey’s newest brand ambassadors.

These two exceptional girls (who will be matriculating this year) have each appeared in 134 matches for Union’s 1st hockey team, with Jenna serving as the team’s captain this year, assisted by Micela as vice-captain.

In addition to representing the EP u/18A side at an interprovincial hockey tournament this year, they have inspired many young hockey players to follow in their footsteps and prove that passion, combined with hard work and determination make great accomplishments possible.

We can’t think of two girls more worthy of this accolade.

Union extends its thanks to their coach Mr Alvin Denzil August for guiding them this year. We also extend our deepest appreciation to Mrs Ina Conradie Botha of the Karoo Hockey School for her commitment to developing their talent and for introducing them to the Nedstar brand.

Matrics Donate Shoes

Matrics step up to donate shoes

Deeply rooted in Union High School’s history, is a culture of caring and a sense of social responsibility.

It is therefore only fitting that the end of a Union High learner’s journey is marked by a final act of service.

Continuing a tradition that has been practised for several years now, many learners of the Class of 2019, after having completed their final exam today, left their school shoes behind to be donated to those less fortunate.

PnP Trolley Dash

At the end of the third term, Union High School launched a Trolley Dash fundraiser in partnership with the local Pick n Pay.

Hundreds of raffle tickets were sold over the following months and on Friday afternoon, November 15, the three lucky winners were announced.

This afternoon (Sunday, 17 November) at 17:00, the three winners, Zaré Grobler (3-minute dash), Phillida Kingwill (2-minute dash) and James Rose-Innes (1-minute dash) gathered at Pick n Pay to take part in the trolley dash.

The winners were joined by Mrs Lou-Anne Gerber’s very excited Grade 6G class and their parents. The Grade 6G class sold the most raffle tickets and were therefore invited to join in the fun!

With the encouragement of the Grade 6 class, winners were running through the aisles of Pick n Pay, filling their trolleys with whatever their heart desired.

After checkout, the winners made off with an array of goodies including giant boxes of Lindt chocolates, specialty coffees and meat.

Cheryl Waddelow from Pick n Pay then also allowed Mrs Gerber, class teacher of the Grade 6Gs, with the very excited encouragement of her class, to have a 30-second dash for an end-of-year class party.

Eats and drinks were also offered to all who attended.

Union High School wishes to thank Pick n Pay for their generosity in sponsoring this fundraiser.

It was great fun for all involved!

Boreholes For UHS

As Graaff-Reinet finds itself facing a crippling water crisis, Union High School is another step closer to achieving water security for the school and its boarding houses.

The regular water interruptions that the town has been subjected to lately, meant that the school often found itself without water.

With hundreds of learners in its care, the situation proved to be unacceptable.

With the support of the Union High School Development Trust, plans were made to develop and secure alternative water sources to augment the supply to the school and its boarding houses.

After a viable groundwater source was confirmed at the back of Herby Arnott House, a borehole was commissioned, and after R&D Drilling successfully sank a borehole, water was struck on Monday afternoon, 11 November, at 60m which is delivering a good blow yield of 15 000l/hour.

The yield from this borehole should be sufficient to supply the school and its boarding houses with water, putting a stop to water shortages at the school.

Union is also in the process of cleaning and fitting PVC sleeves to the existing borehole at Arthur Kingwill House.

Union is very pleased to be in a position which will soon see us break the school’s dependency on the municipal water supply.

An added benefit of the borehole, is that the water usage of the school and its boarding houses will now be much more cost-effective, making it more affordable for the school, and in the end, the school’s parents.

Union extends its thanks to the Union High School Development Trust, with Mr Derek Light at the helm, as well as to Danie Verwey of R&D Drilling.

Our sincere gratitude is also extended to Mr Kallie Venter and Mr Mark Hudson for their support, assistance and enormous efforts in this regard.


Jnr Interhouse Gala 2019

On Friday, the junior department enjoyed a final competitive outing before knuckling down to the serious business of exams, when they took part in their annual interhouse gala.  With the end of the year looming, spirits were high and the competitors gave their best and produced some excellent results.  Tightly contested races throughout the day made for thrilling viewing for the spectators, and as the day culminated with the crowd-favourite, the exciting ladder relay, shouts and screams filled the air as the houses cheered their respective teams on.  Arnott house won this race and also did exceptionally well to take the Interhouse trophy with a 488 to 302 point win.

Well done to all the swimmers who participated and thank you to all the staff and parents involved in making it a successful and enjoyable day for all.



U/11 1 Misha Newton 29 Bradley Davenport 24
  2 Mecoli Vorster 15 Tristan Hope 16
  3 Rebecca Copeman 14 Peter-Daniel Clegg 15
u/12 1 Chloe Erasmus 24 Matthew Paxton 29
  2 Emma Short 22 Daniel Marais 20
  3 Sasha Cochrane 16 Hayden Pienaar 18
u/14 1 Tyra Binney 30 Matthew Davenport 30
  2 Caytah-Leigh Koeberg 24 Jayden Swart 18
  3 Alinda Goosen 16 Max Price 15







Misha Newton

Caytah-Leigh Koeberg  & Chloe Erasmus

30 points

29 points

24 points





Matthew Davenport – VICTOR LUDORUM

Matthew Paxton

Bradley Davenport

30 points

29 points

24 points


Karoo U/12 Coach

Mr Floris Steenkamp, Union’s Junior Sports Administrator, has been selected to serve as the coach of the u/12 Karoo cricket team.

He will be accompanying the team when they participate in the annual u/12 Rural Cricket Festival in Port Elizabeth from 29 November to 1 December.

As announced last month, nine Union cricketers were selected for the team. They are Shaakir Kazi, Makukhanye de Beer, Matthew Paxton, Xavier Barlow, Kananelo Kometsi, Yaseen Kazi, Neelon Fourie, Daniel Marais and Yonela Wana.

We extend our best wishes to Mr Steenkamp who we know will leave no stone unturned in ensuring his team is well prepared.

Lest We Forget

Almost 101 years ago, at 11 am on 11 November 1918, an armistice was signed to bring World War I to an end.

Every year, as this date nears, Union High School commemorates the lives lost in “the Great War”, and the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and of civilians in times of war, by observing Remembrance Day.

This year was no exception with the learners, staff and special guests gathering in the quad on Friday, 1 November, for a special Remembrance Day Service.

The Ven. Dr Mark Marais led the devotions, after which the Headmaster, Mr William Pringle, spoke about the significance of the day, highlighting the importance of Remembrance Day in “showing respect for those who were willing to serve their country and, if need be, to make the ultimate sacrifice so that we who are here now can have the life that we know”.

Two bugle calls, the ‘Last Post’ and ‘The Reveille’ were then played by Mr Charles Maasdorp, Union’s Head Boy of 1951, while Mr Hanno Sparrius lowered and raised the national flag.

The Last Post is a bugle call that has been incorporated into military funerals where it is played as a final farewell, symbolising the fact that the duty of the dead soldier is over and that they can rest in peace, while ‘The Reveille’, is a call that marks the beginning of each day to wake up soldiers. The two tunes symbolise sunset and sunrise respectively, and in the context of this occasion, they symbolise death, but more importantly a promise of resurrection.

The Union High School Roll of Honour was then read aloud by Mr Sparrius, to remember the Old Unionites who perished in valiant struggles “for hearth and home”.

Other traditions that were observed included a minute of silence for reflection and the laying of wreaths by the school’s Head Prefects, Sakhe Booi and Bowen Langmead, as well as by Mr John Crankshaw, on behalf of the Old Unionite Association.