In the August issue of the Rhodos – the annual publication of Rhodes University – an article appeared wherein mention was made that “at Union High School in Graaff-Reinet every headmaster since the appointment of Herby Arnott in 1947 has been a graduate of the Rhodes Education Department”.

The article continues to say, “It partly explains why it is such a great school, “ said Adrian Arnott, also an Old Rhodian, describing how his father who was on the SRC in 1929 and also served on the Rhodes Council after his retirement,

Succeeding a long line of headmasters – including Ron Dugmore, Tony Burrell, Donald “Fergie” Ferguson, Chris Harker, Lindsay Pearson and Dave Mugglestone – Adrian’s classmate from 1964 and fellow Rhodes student Rory Kroon, was acting headmaster prior to the appointment of the current Principal, William Pringle. The latter’s wife, Catherine McMaster is also an Old Rhodian and teaches at Union High.

And the connection cuts even deeper as her grandfather, Bill Homan, also an Old Rhodian, taught at the school in the 50s and 60s with Herby Arnott.

Let’s hope that future headmasters have the same purple blood in their vines.


1922 – 1933 Arthur E. Puttick – BA Hons

1934 – 1945 Kenneth McGaffin – BA

1945 – 1947 Anthony Dodd – MA Med

1947 – 1968 Herbert W. Arnott – MA

1969 – 1974 Ronald M. Dugmore – BA Bed

1975 – 1990 Anthony F. Burrell – BSc HDE

1991 – 1992 Donald B. Ferguson (Acting) – BA HDE

1992 – 1993 Christopher P. Harker – BSC HDE

1993 – 1997 Lindsay M. Pearson – BA HDE BEd

1998 – 2011 David A. L. Mugglestone – BA HDE BEd

2011 – Present William Pringle – BA HDE