On Thursday, 27 April, Union’s 1st hockey team departed to Grahamstown to partake in the Kingswood Hockey Festival. Friday saw the girls played Kingswood. The Union girls dominated the game, but failed to use their opportunities and lost the match 2-1. In the second match of the day Union played St Dominic's Priory and Union was met by an EP goal keeper who was on form, but Union powered their way to a 6-0 victory. 
On Saturday the Union team played against Paarl Vallei, where Union once again failed to utilize their opportunities after taking the lead, but then lost 2-1. The second game of the day Union played against Merrifield and the girls displayed pure class, dominated the game and won 10-0.
On Sunday Union played against their old foes, DSG. Some history behind this game... Union’s last victory against DSG in a full match took place in 2013 - 4 years ago. Union went about their business smartly and full of energy leaving DSG exhausted and taking a 1-0 lead at half time. Union scored their second straight after halftime. DSG put pressure on the Union girls and pushed them until the very end, but Union won the match 2-1. Beating a top 5 school in the country speaks volumes about the girls, who play schools in the top 15 throughout the year and come away with positive results.
Union’s 1st Hockey Team is definitely flying the Union flag high and are looking forward to the rest of the year.



Union High School vs Victoria Park
1st XV:  On Wednesday, Union’s 1st XV played against Victoria Park and managed to pull off another comeback in the second half to win 24 – 14. Union trailed 11 – 14 at half-time, after an error-filled first half. The boys battled to play with any continuity and were inaccurate in set-pieces. Wiegard Brummer scored the only try in the first half off the back of a maul. Fortunately, two moments of brilliance from Ross Stanley late in the game, allowed Union to take the lead and finish as victors.
It was certainly not Union’s best performance and hopeful the long weekend helped the boys to come back with renewed energy and focus for the remaining fixtures.

2nd Team:  19 - 12

1st Team:  7 - 0
U16A:  8 - 2


The top 6 junior girls and boys played a match against Laer Volkskool on Monday, 24 April 2017. It was a very pleasant afternoon with some fantastic tennis being played. The girls especially showed much improvement and their determination to want to win was evident in the way they played, proving that it is not all about how hard you can hit the ball, but rather showing consistency and making good decisions on court.
The girls won 5 matches to 4 and the boys lost 7 matches to 2.


Union High’s 1st XV played Muir College in a thrilling encounter this weekend. After trailing for much of 70 minutes, Union managed to claw their way back into the match and emerged victorious by one point.
The Union team started brilliantly, with what could be the try of the season thus far, when Ikhona Koeberg finished off a counter-attack from inside Union’s own 22m. Muir soon scored a try of their own, to add to an earlier penalty. After the break, Union’s Ross Stanley scored our second try, when the backline executed a set piece to perfection. Unfortunately, Union allowed Muir to score shortly after this, which saw them take a 6-point lead. Some gutsy defence kept Union within reach and seemed to frustrate the opposition.
Union were down 14 – 20 deep into the second half when Kyle Sparks went over to score a well-constructed team try. Matt Harpur held his nerve from the touchline to kick what proved to be a match-winning conversion. Union held on to their slender lead for the remaining few minutes to win the game 21 – 20.

1st XV - Union won 21 - 20
2nds vs Muir:  10 - 15
U/16A vs Muir:  10 - 27
3rd vs Muir:  5 - 29
U/15A vs Muir:  15 - 17
U/15B vs Muir:  15 - 17
U/14 A vs Muir:  10 - 17
U/13A vs Muir:  22 - 24
U/13B vs Muir:  5 - 17



On Saturday Union High’s 1st Hockey team played against Victoria Girls. The Union girls showed no signs of a two-week break and played spectacular hockey, scoring good quality goals, which ended in a comfortable 9 – 0 victory.

2nd: 8 - 0
U/16A:  6 - 1
U/16 B:  1 - 0
3rd:  1 - 2



Paula Kingwill, a drama therapist and cattle farmer from Nieu Bethesda, facilitated a fun evening at Union High School, whereby teachers and parents explored each other’s needs and expectations. Through absorbing activities and thoughtful brainstorming Paula expertly encapsulated common views and paved the way for good relations between parents and teachers. Widespread consensus highlighted the longing for respect, kindness and good communication to prevail from both sides. Afterwards, companionable laughter over a light supper was enjoyed by all.



It is with deep regret and sadness that we inform the Union community of the untimely passing of Mr Fanie Bezuidenhout, Head of Department at the School. Fanie passed away at home on his 63rd birthday on the 6th of April. We extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to Jackie and all the children at this difficult time.
Fanie has been a vital cog in the UHS machine since his arrival at the School in 1990 and has impacted profoundly on the lives of thousands of Unionites, and especially the young men who resided under his care at Arthur Kingwill House.
Below is a poem which I shared with Fanie a few years ago, and I share it at this time of sorrow, because I know that this is what he would like us all to endeavour to be. I also believe that it describes the type of man he was. It's not always easy to be strong.

God wants us to be free.
Free to demonstrate toughness when a situation or relationship demands it.
Free to display grit, strength, commitment, and decisions under the Holy Spirit's direction.
God also wants men to be free to demonstrate tenderness, sensitivity and humility.
Free to be vulnerable enough to foster intimacy and to shed tears.
Authentic masculinity provides a divine elasticity in men.
They can lead with firmness, then submit with humility.
Challenge with a cutting edge, then encourage with enthusiasm.
Fight aggressively for a just cause, then weep over suffering.
Secure, free, authentic men leave a mark - on their colleagues, friends, wives
And especially their children.

Fanie will be sorely missed by everyone at Union High School and in the greater Graaff-Reinet community. Some people just leave deeper footprints than others. Rest well, Mr Bez.
Yours faithfully
William Pringle


It is with great sadness that we share the terrible news that Sean Kroon was shot and killed in his house in Bloemfontein on Saturday, 1 April.

Sean was a free spirit that lived his life to the full, as if every day was going to be his last; he had dreams and ambitions, as if he was going to live forever.

For those in the Class of 2016, we will always remember his laugh.

We extend our sincerest condolences to Michael (Old Unionite Class of 1978) and Joanne (nee Bell), (Old Unionite Class of 1981).



Congratulations to Kia Hoffman for being awarded her 50th cap for the Union High 1st Hockey Team by Mr Pringle on Sunday.



Congratulations to Kelsey Minnaar, Captain of Union's 1st Hockey Team, for receiving an award from Headmaster, Mr Pringle, in recognition of having achieved her 100th cap for the 1st Team on Saturday, during Union High’s 30th Senior Rugby and Hockey Festival.



Over the last weekend of the first term of 2017 Union High hosted its 30th Annual Senior Rugby and Hockey Festival and once again it was a tremendous success, with teams from across the country taking part in the festival.
With 800 learners and 115 coaches attending, we had hostels bursting at the seams, but the hard-working staff of Arthur Kingwill House and Herby Arnott House made it work and as always Union was complimented for its great hospitality. We wish to take this opportunity to thank our hostel staff for all those extra hours and their contribution to the success of the festival. The same goes to Mr Kingwill and his team of ground-staff for ensuring that our facilities were always in impeccable condition.
Thank you to our rugby and hockey moms and dads for feeding the coaches, sponsors, staff, medics and referees at the Union. As always, the food was of the highest quality (and quantity). Thank you also to Mr Crankshaw and his team of old Unionites for their contribution.
A festival of this magnitude cannot be hosted without its sponsors. To our main sponsors for festival – Hyundai, Caltex, College Motors, SupaQuick and Spur - we appreciate the ongoing support from your businesses. We are looking forward to many more years of working together.
Congratulations to the coaches on the teams’ performances over festival. You and the teams made us proud on and off the field!

Festival Rugby Report
On Saturday, we played against Cambridge in what was an eagerly anticipated clash. Our team looked forward to playing at home and this was evident in the way they approached the match. We played with commitment and passion to secure a 13 – 5 victory. Cambridge was physically bigger but we managed to disrupt their attack with excellent defence and intensity throughout. Ross Stanley finished off a well-constructed team try in the first half to put us ahead. The momentum switched back and forth with Cambridge scoring just before half time. Unfortunately, we could not convert pressure into points but rather missed out on what should have been certain tries. Our handling and impatience caused frustration from players and supporters alike. Fortunately, a second half try by Cohen Pieterse and converted penalty by Matt Harpur gave us a two-score cushion and we managed to hang onto this until the final whistle.

Monday’s match against Charlie Hofmeyer was a disappointing one for us. We seemed flat-footed and put in a lacklustre performance. We could not control possession and our intensity on defence was far off the pace. Unforced errors at critical moments hurt us and we could not find our rhythm as a result. Our opponents capitalised on our failure to protect the ball and used their opportunities better than we did. We lost the match 17 – 39. Ross Stanley scored a good individual try and Ikhona Koeberg did well to finish off our most promising passage of play, dotting down underneath the posts. Matt Harpur kicked two conversions and a penalty.
Our thanks go out to all involved with the organisation and running of the festival. It was another incredible experience for us as the First Rugby Squad. We are truly grateful for the opportunity and for the hard work which was done behind the scenes.

It was an emotional weekend for us after hearing the news of the passing of Sean Kroon, a member of our First XV in 2016 and a good friend to many. Sean played an integral part in the 2016 season and will long be remembered for his dedication. His work rate from the side of the scrum was immense and he was always willing to put his body on the line for his teammates. As a coach, I knew I could rely on him at any time and in any situation. He never let me down and often exceeded expectations. Off the field, he was a real character and added so much to the chemistry of the team with his quirky personality and unique perspective on life. It was a privilege for us all to share the special moments of the season with a young man who loved every minute of what he did. We will miss him dearly and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. The ‘white jersey’ family has lost a brother but he will forever live on in our hearts and in the change room.

Union High’s 1st Rugby and Hockey teams honoured Sean Kroon on Monday with a minute of silence prior to the final rugby match of the Festival.

Festival Hockey Report
After winning the EC SPAR Hockey Spar Challenge on Friday, Union's first hockey team continued their success when they played their first game of the Festival against Paarl Gym from Cape Town. Paarl Gym played with the same intensity that the Union Team has been accustomed to play. The Union girls used their opportunities well and beat Paarl Gym 8 goals to 0.

On Sunday they played two games. During the first game against Nico Malan the girls wasted their opportunities in the first half and only scored one goal. The second half was much better and Union scored 5 goals to 0. The second match was played against Settlers High School from Cape Town. It was a well-rounded game and Union displayed their exquisite skill, beating Settlers 9-0.

On Monday, Union played against Brandwag from Uitenhage, who Brandwag brought a negative type of game that the Union girls weren't use to. It forced the Union girls to try to counter it by using a different structure. It frustrated the Union girls, but it forced them to play harder and comfortably win 4-0.

Over the festival the Union girls showed their level of fitness, skill and their understanding of the game. They dominated this weekend with finesse and were graceful and humble after every game and saw each game as a challenge. In total they played 4 games, scored 27 goals, averaging 6 goals per game and conceding 0.

It was a very successful festival for Union’s 1st Hockey Team and the girls are looking forward to the rest of the season.

Day 1 : Saturday 1 April
Camps Bay High School 32 vs Linkside High School 17
Hoërskool Andrew Rabie 22 vs Winterberg Landbou Skool 23
Grey College Cherries 39 vs Swartland Hoërskool 7
Gill College 22 vs Hoërskool Grens 26
Hoër Volkskool 16 vs Pearson High School 34
Hoërskool Charlie Hofmeyr 17 vs Grey High School Unicorns 15
Grey College 68 vs Stirling High School 3
Union High School 13 vs Cambridge High School 5
Muir College 18 vs Westering 10
Paarl Gim Daisies 52 vs Grens 3

Brandwag Hoërskool 1 vs Victoria Girls 0
Gill College 0 vs Stirling High School 4
Hoër Volkskool 2 vs Paarl Gim 0
Linkside High School 1 vs Cambridge High School 3
Nico Malan Hoërskool 2 vs Grens Hoërskool 0
Westering High School 0 vs Settlers High School 0
Victoria Girls 0 vs Framesby Hoërskool 4
Paarl Gim Invitational 0 vs Union High School 8
Brandwag Hoërskool 2 vs Union High Invitational 1
Stirling High School 6 vs Hoër Volkskool 0
Gill College 4 vs Cambridge High School 1

Day 2 : Sunday 2 April
Westering 1 vs Paarl Gim 4
Nico Malan 0 vs Union High School 6
Framesby 4 vs Cambridge 1
Stirling 3 vs Settlers 0
Grens 3 vs Linkside 3
Victoria Girls 3 vs Union Invitational 3
Nico Malan 3 vs Brandwag 3
Framesby 2 vs Volkskool 1
Union High School 9 vs Settlers 0
Linkside 0 vs Gill 4
Westering 5 vs Grens 0

Day 3 : Monday 3 April
Paarl Gim Daisies 10 vs Grey Unicorns 18
Grey College Cherries 60 vs Grens Hoërskool 8
Grey College 92 vs Muir College 10
Gill College 45 vs Cambridge High School 12
Pearson High School 46 vs Swartland Hoërskool 20
Westering High School 24 vs Camps Bay High School 8
Hoër Volkskool 0 vs Stirling High School 65
Union High School 17 vs Hoërskool Charlie Hofmeyr 39
Grens 2nd Team 19 vs Hoërskool Andrew Rabie 33

Nico Malan Hoërskool 1 vs Paarl Gim Invitational 4
Settlers High School 0 vs Cambridge High School 1
Linkside High School 0 vs Victoria Girls2
Union High Invitational 0 vs Westering High School 1
Framesby High School 2 vs Gill College 1
Grens Hoërskool 1 vs Hoër Volkskool 4
Union High School 4 vs Brandwag Hoërskool 0


We played 7 matches - won 6 and drew 1.  We scored 15 goals and had not one scored against us! If that is how you play hockey, you win the tournament!!!
Well done to Union High’s 1st Hockey Team for winning the SPAR Eastern Cape School Girls' Hockey Challenge that took place on their home-ground on Friday, 31 March. After all the teams had played 6 matches each, it came down to a final between Union High and Kingswood. Union’s girls played focused hockey, giving it their all...and a bit extra, and were triumphant in their endeavours. Congratulations hockey girls - Union High is walking tall and extremely proud!
We wish to thank SPAR for making this very successful day happen.

Union High School 0 vs Kingswood College 0
Gill College 1 vs Brandwag Hoërskool 1
DSG 1 vs Victoria Girls 0
Hoër Volkskool 0 vs Union High School 3
Kingswood College 2 vs Gill College 0
DSG 1 vs Brandwag 0
Victoria Girls 1 vs Hoër Volkskool 0
Kingswood College 1 vs Brandwag 0
DSG 1 vs Gill College 0
Victoria Girls 0 vs Union High School 6
Hoër Volkskool 0 vs Brandwag Hoërskool 1
Kingswood College 0 vs DSG 0
Victoria Girls 0 vs Gill College 0
Union High School 1 vs DSG 0
Hoër Volkskool 0 vs Kingswood College 3
Victoria Girls1 vs Brandwag 1
Union High School 3 vs Gill College 0
DSG 4 vs Hoër Volkskool 0
Union High School 1 vs Brandwag 0
Kingswood 3 vs Victoria Girls 0
Gill College 0 vs Hoër Volkskool 0
Final—Top 2 Teams after Round Robin
Union High School 1 vs Kingswood 0

The winning team with sponsors - Back (left to right): Peter Wilson (Spar), Jenna McNaughton, Sanja du Plessis, Kelsey Minnaar (Captain), Rebecca Langmead, Candice Russel, Micela Loock, Kia Hoffman, Paige de la Harpe, Mrs Gamiet B (Manager) and Mr Geowynne Gamiet (Coach)
Front (left to right): Yente Retief, Kelly Rose-innes, Sima Desemela, Henze Jaftha, Louise Randall and Anja Oelofsen



Seven multi-disciplinary athletes from Graaff Reinet were selected to represent Eastern Province at the South African championships in Biathlon held on the 8th of April.
Biathlon is a challenging sporting discipline where competitors need to excel in more than one field. It consists of swimming and running and this popular sport is considered a true test of an all-rounder’s abilities.

Gerrit Brink from Union High School was also selected to be the captain of the Eastern Province team, a great honour for him, the school and our town.

This year the SA Championships were held in Paarl and more than 600 athletes from all over South Africa congregated there. It was an inspiring sight to see all these fit competitors marching under their provincial banners. As is the norm the meet was opened in prayer and reading from God’s word and the singing of the national anthem.

Right from the start records were broken and the competition was considered the fiercest in many years. Despite a gusting wind, the running times were very good and the Graaff Reinetters gave a great account of themselves. Marlien Crewe- Brown, Llewellyn Crewe- Brown and Lizandri Crewe- Brown all ran their fastest times ever.

The swimming leg was a bit more of a challenge as the pool was cold and some of the swimmers had cut themselves on the tiles during turns. Still, our swimmers from Graaff Reinet swam well and got close to their personal bests and Hannes van der Merwe, Marlien Crewe- Brown and Gerrit Brink swam a new personal best.

Lizandri Crewe- Brown (13th), Llewellyn Crewe- Brown (20th), Cameron Muir (16th) and Gerrit Brink (8th) all finished in the Top 20 of their age groups. Gerrit Brink finished 8th for Men u/19 and the many hours of hard work in practice has clearly paid off for all these athletes.

The biathlon season kicks off again on the 1st of September 2017 and the first event will be held here in Graaff Reinet.

Congratulations to the following Graaff-Reinet bi-athletes that competed at the SA Champioships.
From left to right: Gerrit Brink (Captain), Candice Russell, Cameron Muir, Lizandri Crewe- Brown, Llewellyn Crewe- Brown, Hannes van der Merwe and Marlien Crewe- Brown.



During the Easter Holidays Kendall Krige, a Grade 7 learner at Union High School, competed at the SA National Arabian Championships held in Parys. She placed well in all her qualifying classes and rounded off the show by winning the overall Youth National Champion Riding Horse.



On Thursday 30 March Roland Kroon opened Union’s biannual Eco-wise day with an informative presentation on Desertification. This passionate man of the land explained how fire can be the cause of floods and showed photos of how good land management can make the difference between bounty and barrenness. His talk was enlightening and deposited a seed of promise and purpose in the minds of those present.

Without a doubt, the young champs of the day were Graaff-Reinet’s paramedics of Emergency Services. Union’s eco focus for this year is Fire & Flood and they taught the grade 9 and 10s how to treat burn wounds and resuscitate a victim of drowning. The grade 11s conducted a ‘fire audit’ of the school and some learners designed posters on the topic of Fire & Flood. The fire department came to educate the youngest members of the school, but sadly these men in uniform were clearly unprepared and failed to excite and impress these astute youngsters.

A leaking tap audit was conducted by the grade 8s, while the grade 6s designed ‘Save Water’ posters. The other classes busied themselves with fun activities that showcased our ongoing eco themes.

Thank you to our dedicated eco partners, those erudite educators and enthusiastic learners who helped make this day a success.