Union High School

Past Headmasters

1998 - 2011 Mr D.A. Mugglestone

Mr Dave Mugglestone arrived at Union High School in January 1981 where he became fully involved in teaching and coaching sport. Fourteen years later Mr Mugglestone took up the challenge of leading Union High School. He fulfilled his role exceptionally and he left a great legacy. His great sense of fairness, justice and integrity has been instilled in Union pupils over the years. He encouraged good manners, treated everyone with dignity and understanding, resolving many conflicts with his uncanny ability to read situations. He maintained the traditions and values of Union High as inscribed in the motto: Veritas, Fidelitas, Justitia. He strove for and succeeded in keeping Union High School one of the top academic schools in the province while also keenly supporting and promoting an ethos of strong Christian principles.

1993 - 1997  Mr L.M. Pearson

Mr Lindsay Pearson was headmaster of Union High for four and a half years. His time at Union High coincided with a period of major changes in education. It was testimony to his excellent leadership that Union High emerged from this period of uncertainty and frustration with flying colours. Mr Pearson introduced The Interact Club which has proven very popular and will be remembered for his contribution towards discipline and sportsmanship that is today still evident throughout the spirit of the school.

1992 - 1993  Mr C.P. Harker

Mr Chris Harker came to UHS as headmaster at the beginning of 1992 after a distinguished career as a teacher and sports’ administrator at Grey High, Wynberg Boys’High and Queen’s College where he had built a reputation as a dynamic deputy head.  During his time at Union High he sought to update and adapt the administration and finances to cope with the demands placed on the school during the Model ‘C’ dispensation. 

1975 - 1990  Mr A.F. Burrell

In 1975, at the age of 38 years, Mr Burrell took over the reins as the sixth Headmaster of Union High School and Superintendent of Arthur Kingwill House.  Upon arriving at Union High School, Mr Burrell emphasized that the Old Unionite Association, a necessary link with all past pupils, should look wider that Graaff-Reinet’s immediate environs and during his last year a National Executive was formed to realize his vision.   Under his leadership, the Union complex, comprising of a lounge, kitchen, refreshment facilities, tennis club house, improved changerooms and a tuckshop was built overlooking the Puttick Field, hence the name the Tony Burrell Union.
1969 - 1974  Mr R.M. Dugmore

In 1969 Mr Ron Dugmore took over the headmastership from Mr Herby Arnott.  Mr Dugmore’s strength of personality enabled him to make substantial contributions to Union High.  Under his guidance academic achievement was given recognition with the introduction of the academic merit tie.  He maintained the high standards of sport at Union High School and was responsible for the initial interest in squash and the building of the squash courts.  He was also instrumental in the purchase of school buses necessitated by the increased rail tariffs.

1947 - 1968  Mr H.W. Arnott

From the first day of his appointment, Mr
Herby Arnott threw all his energy into building the reputation of the school and improving its facilities.  He was dynamic in his approach to all school problems and needs.  Into all the scholars who passed through his hands he instilled a high esprit-de-corps, pride of school, and code of behavior, thus imbuing them with the best ideals and an urge to be good citizens.  As a dedicated educator, Mr Arnott had a deep understanding of human nature, particularly of the youth, which was coupled with a keen sense of humour.  The affection and esteem in which he was held by all pupils, parents and general public is indeed proof of his unique and outstanding headmaster’s qualities.



1945 - 1947 Mr A.A. Dodd

1934 - 1945 Mr K. McGaffin

1922 - 1933 Mr A.E. Puttick

The Rhodes Connection

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