And off they go. The Union grade 10 class left on their Odyssey on Sunday morning, hiking from the beautiful town of Nieu-Bethesda, arriving back in Graaff-Reinet on Thursday. 
Follow their progress on our Facebook page:
UHS (Union High School, Graaff-Reinet)



1st Team
On Saturday morning, Union’s 1st XI cricket team left for Asante Sana for their annual clash against Brandwag. Brandwag won the toss and decided to bat first. Union took two quick wickets at the start of the innings, but once again let themselves down in the field with drop catches, allowing Brandwag to score 214 for 9 after 40 overs. Matt Harpur and Sinethemba Ndudula took 3 wickets each.
When Union went in to bat, they also lost a few early wickets, but got themselves back into the game with good partnerships. Unfortunately it was too little too late, as they only managed to score 200 runs for 9 wickets after 40 overs. The top batsmen were Matt Harpur, with 60 runs, Ocean Wilma with 28 and Sinethemba Ndudula with 32.
Union lost the match by 14 runs.
In a rain-interrupted 40 over match in Uitenhage, Brandwag won the toss, elected to bat and were bowled out for 108 runs in the 30th over. Kwezi Simon took 4 wickets for 32 runs and MJ Newton effected two stumpings off of the bowling of Kyle-Luke du Preez.
With a 2nd wicket partnership of 78 runs between Bowen Langmead (43) and Brett Amsterdam (35 not out), Union reached the Brandwag score in the 14th over.
Union won the match by 8 wickets.



The HAH Annual Dinner was held on 22 September and the Queen of Hearts reigned supreme. The girls, smartly and elegantly dressed, behaved like true royalty. The venue had a stylish atmosphere thanks to the tasteful table and wall décor and the menu was delicious and fit for a king. The outgoing Headgirl, Vuyolwethu Magaqa, delivered a moving speech and then the new Headgirl and prefects were announced.
Congratulations to 2018 HERBY ARNOTT HOUSE Prefects:
Uthimna Somi(Headgirl)
Simamkele Desemela (Deputy Headgirl)
Phawoluhle Abraham
Bavuyise Hermans
Rebecca Langmead
Yente Retief
Kelly Rose-Innes
Candice Russell
Likho Zwakala
Thank you to governors who attended these functions.



This year, twenty-four learners took part in the Senior Chess Leagues, known as the Bishops and Knight Leagues. Ronan Potgieter finished in first place in the Bishops League and Sabrina Potgieter in the Knights League, both with a win rate of 73%.
From the leagues, Union’s best and most dedicated chess players were chosen for the tournament. In the semi-finals, Hayden Fourie played Tracy Petitt and Liano Naidoo took on Peter Watermeyer. The final took place last Friday in the Union Quad, where Peter Watermeyer played against Hayden Fourie, with Hayden being victorious.



We wish to congratulate Union High’s Daniel McNaughton for being selected for the Eastern Province Archery Team. Daniel will be competing at National Week in Port Elizabeth from 4 to 7 October, and we wish him everything of the best.



On Thursday evening Union High’s music students entertained a select audience with exquisite renditions of their hard work this year. A live performance is part of the year mark for four learners, Jenna McNaughton, Rebecca Langmead, Faith Mac Donald and Yu-Pei Rong, who take music as a subject at school. Although, on show were also beautiful singing by Brigitte Oelofsen and Taylyn Miller, piano pieces from all our music learners, as well as Mrs Pringle playing the clarinet, accompanied by her daughter, Anna, on the piano.
Congratulations also to the music department for showcasing their work in such a beautiful and entertaining way, and thank you to Mrs van der Walt, Mrs Scott and Mrs Brink for their hard work in preparing our future musicians!


Five Union learners attended an athletics clinic at Hoër Volkskool on Friday and Saturday of last week. The clinic was presented by Bestmed Madibaz Athletics Club from Port Elizabeth. New techniques and training programmes were discussed and demonstrated. Although it rained on Saturday, all athletes enjoyed learning some new skills. The following learners received certificates for their participation: Matthew Carelse, Kyle Sparks, Erin Mitchell, Kirsten King and Rosslyn Sparks.



1st XI Report
In the limited overs cricket match against St Andrews this weekend, Union High won the toss and elected to bat first. The boys batted well under a good bowling attack from St Andrews, led by arguably the fastest schoolboy bowler in South Africa. Union lost wickets upfront, but a brilliant innings by Matt Harpur and a good partnership with Noa Cilliers, ensured that they achieved a score of 153 for 10 after 47 overs. Matt Harpur top scored with 64 runs off 99 balls.
Union started their bowling attack and had St Andrews at 21 runs for 3 wickets after 12 overs, but the St Andrews boys managed to get partnerships going and reached Union’s total in the 36th over with 5 wickets down. The top bowler was Sinethemba Ndudula, who took 2 wickets in 9 overs for 27 runs.
St Andrews won the match by 5 wickets.

U/15 Report
St Andrews won the toss, elected to bat and was bowled out in the 49th over for 255 in this 50 over match. The top bowlers were Brett Amsterdam, who took 3 wickets for 22 runs, Bowen Langmead 2 for 52 and Kwezi Simon 2 for 46.
On the bowling side, Union got off to a good start when they were 67 for 2 after 22 overs, but failed to make a competitive score. Brett Amsterdam scored 26, James Pienaar 21 and James Pringle 15. The Union boys were bowled out for 92 in the 32nd over.
St Andrews won the match by 163 runs.



A group of 9 Union biathletes competed in an Eastern Province league event in Port Elizabeth on Saturday. They ran in cold and wet conditions and were relieved that the swimming was in a heated pool. Relying on their fitness from the winter sport season, they made a very good start to the biathlon season.
Biathlon Results – EP League 2 – 16 September 2017
Boys U/15 – Corniel Vorster – 9th (1570)
Boys U/19 – Ben Kroon – 6th (1375)
VC Beldon – 5th (1603)
Cameron Muir – 1st (2025)
Girls U/17 – Jenna McNaughton – 4th (1859)
Micela Loock – 2nd (2007)
Girls U/19 – Sanja du Plessis - 3rd (1851)
Candice Russell – 2nd (2025)



This term, in Visual Arts, the gr 6s had to do portraits and the grade 7s received an architectural task.  Recycled magazines were used to source the colour for these "paper paintings". Here are some of their masterpieces.



After a remarkable hockey season, Union High is proud to announce that the 1st hockey team has been ranked 18th in the Top 25 schools in the country, and 5th in the Eastern Cape. Congratulations to Mr Gamiet and his hockey girls. We commend your hard work and dedication to your sport.



On Thursday 7 October the 1st XI Cricket Team travelled to Port Elizabeth to participate in the annual Pearson High School Cricket Festival. On the first day Union played two Pro-20 fixtures against Somerset College and Woodridge College.
Day 1
Union High School vs Somerset College
Union won the toss, decided to bowl first and started very well. After the 11th over the Union boys were still in a good position. Unfortunately, they then dropped two vital catches which cost them a lot of runs and Somerset College ended up scoring 161/3 after 20 overs. Union went in to bat and started slowly, not batting with intent and not running hard enough between the stumps. That stopped them from rotating the strike properly and could not reach their target. The Union boys ended up on 130/2 after 20 overs.
Matt Harpur took 1 wicket for 16 runs in 4 overs, Sinethemba Ndudula, 1 for 27 runs in 4 overs, and Waylon du Plessis 1 wicket for 22 runs in 3 overs.
Waylon du Plessis scored 21 runs off 40 balls and Ronan Retief 23 runs off 30 balls. Matt Harpur was not out on 31 runs off 26 balls and Luke McNaughton not out on 42 runs off 25 balls.
UHS lost by 30 runs.
Union High School vs Woodridge College
Union won the toss and put Woodridge in to bat first. The Union boys started off well, with the bowling restricting Woodridge to 4.5 runs an over up until the 12th over. Unfortunately, a lapse in concentration in the field and poor bowling made things easier for Woodridge. Quality sides don’t waste opportunities and they ended up on 165/4 after 20 overs. Union started batting at a reasonable rate, but the oss of wickets stopped their momentum. Good batting from Matt Harpur and Luke McNaughton gave Union a respectable score in the end, but they fell short of their target. Union scored 111/5 in 20 overs.
Sinethemba Ndudula took 1 wicket for 33 runs in 4 overs, Waylon du Plessis, 2 wickets for 20 runs in 4 overs and Matthew Broeksma, 1 wicket for 35 runs in 4 overs.
Batsmen Luke McNaughton scored 41 runs off 34 balls and Matt Harpur, 24 runs off 19 balls.
UHS lost by 53 runs
Day 2
Union High School vs Westering High School
On day 2 the format of the match against Westering was time-cricket, which always has an influence on the decision taken by the coach and captain on what to do when winning the toss. Union won the toss and elected to bat first, on a very grassy pitch. Wickets were lost early and Union was in trouble. A few batsmen were able to grind out some runs and the Union team was bowled out for 108 runs.
Westering went into bat and the Union bowlers started off very well, having taken 3 wickets for only 10 runs after 5 overs. After lunch there was a slump in the Union bowling attack, and a quick 33 runs got Westering back into the game. At the end of the 1st innings, Westering were all out for 121 runs in 42 overs. Union trailed by 13 runs and due to the format of the game, had 24 overs left in the days’ play to set a target for Westering to chase. Union had to take 5 wickets for an out-right win. The Union boys went in to bat and from the first over the batsmen were showing intent and batted well. Luke McNaughton must be congratulated on a brilliant innings of 69 runs off 38 balls, which made it possible for Union to set a decent target.
When Westering went in to bat, they needed 85 runs in 12 overs to win the match, and Union needed to take 5 wickets for an outright win. Unfortunately Westering decided to bat the innings out and not try to win the match, and Union could not get the required wickets.
Luke McNaughton top scored with 25 runs in the first innings and that brilliant 69 in the second innings.
Waylon du Plessis took 4 wickets for 32 runs in 11 overs, Sine Ndudula took 3 for 40 in 13 overs, Matt Harpur took 2 for 20 in 8 overs and Brett Amsterdam, 1 for 16 in 6 overs.
Match drawn
Day 3
Union High School vs Victoria Park
On the final day, Union played a 50-over game against Victoria Park. Union won the toss and elected to bowl first. The opening bowlers stayed true to their form and made life very difficult for the Victoria Park batsmen, who were in trouble early and eventually bowled out for 76 runs. The Union boys batted well and reached their target comfortably, ending on 79/3.
Waylon du Plessis took an astonishing 6 wickets for only 13 runs in 7.2 overs. Sinethemba Ndudula, Luke McNaughton and Brett Amsterdam each took 1 wicket.
The top batsmen were Matt Harpur, with 19 runs not out and Waylon du Plessis with 18 runs off 35 balls.
Union won the match by 7 wickets.



Congratulations to Brett Amsterdam, Bowen Langmead, Noa Cilliers and Caerwin Spence for receiving their 1st caps for the 1st XI cricket team at their match against Westering at the Pearson Festival in Port Elizabeth this morning. Here seen with Coach, Mr Hannes Lombard and Tour Manager, Mr Geowynne Gamiet.



Congratulations to the following learners for winning the Speech Competition in their different categories:
Grade 7
1st place - Hannah Bodenstein with “Famous Failures”
2nd place – Matthew Basson with “Famous Failures”
Grade 6
1st place – Caitrin Spence with “Save our Earth”
2nd place – Rachael Houseman with “Be your own Pilot”
Grade 5
1st place – Caytah-Leigh Koeberg with “Our Rainbow Nation”
2nd place – Camran Swartz with “Weird and Wonderful Pets”
(Back from left to right):  Rachael Houseman, Caitrin Spence, Hannah Bodenstein, Matthew Basson
(Front from left to right):  Camran Swartz, Caytah-Leigh Koeberg



The 4th annual Maths Camp took place this weekend in Nieu-Bethesda. Ian and Katrin Alleman initiated this collaboration with Gustaf Weich (Regional Director of Operational excellence, Aurecon); Daniel Boegli (a retired engineer); Elsie Weich (artist) and Mr Ulrich Jantjies of Union High school - in a bid to expose learners to maths outside the classroom both literally and figuratively, and to ‘inspire the learners to see the pervasiveness and utility of maths.’

The group of 20 Union High learners literally bubbled over with excitement when asked about the weekend. Topics covered were the Fibonacci numbers, the golden ratio and fractals. The learners enthused about making a ‘Menger Sponge’ from 2400 business cards. This is a ‘fractal curve’ that was first described by Karl Menger in 1926 in his studies of the concept of topological dimension. It was wonderful to see these learners genuinely enthralled and passionate about this concept and how they had managed to create their own Menger sponge in Nieu-Bethesda. Learner, Cameron Muir, explained how the sponge that his classmates made will be displayed in the school foyer and will be submitted to the Queen Mary University of London for inclusion in the Mega Menger website.

Fractals make it possible to model seemingly random or even chaotic shapes such as a cloud, a flame, a mountain or a coastline. Rebecca Langmead’s eyes lit up as she explained – ‘the hills that we see out there are perfectly divisible into beautiful triangles…or fractals…and so are the branches of a tree – they are not random!’ Fractals have, ‘infinite detail and are self-similar in that zooming in on the fractal yields the same detail as the original shape,’ explained Gustav Weich.

Faith McDonald said that the weekend had really brought out the fun and relevant side of maths for her, and it proved how so many integral life functions involve maths. On Saturday the group was taken to the historic mill in Pienaar street. Here they were shown how fractions, formulas and quantities are important as they literally ground wheat on the old millstone, figured out how economical the grinding mechanism actually is, worked out quantities, and culminated in making their own loaves of bread. That evening Ian showed them a fascinating slideshow on Antarctica where he lived and worked for a while. The group also watched the movie, ‘Good Will Hunting’ and had the opportunity to view the moon through a telescope. The kindness and generosity of Ian and Katrin did not go unnoticed. The group of 20 was well fed and accommodated for the entire weekend and the learners expressed their gratitude for this magnanimous gesture.

Nieu-Bethesda is the perfect place for such a weekend. The learners were safe to explore the village on their own accord, some learned to ride bicycles in the dusty streets (perhaps mathematical formulae applied?!), they visited the quirky shops and restaurants, got to know some of the local dogs, and were generally well rewarded for their hard work over their high school years.

Gustav Weich and his team really gave of their all to inspire and stimulate this receptive group of learners. Elsie Weich designed beautiful ‘fractal’ t-shirt which each child received as a gift. The Union maths formal class came away with fresh ideas, inspired minds and a passionate approach to the subject of Mathematics.



Union High vs Pearson
1st Team
On Saturday, 2 September, Union High kicked off the cricket season by playing Pearson in Port Elizabeth. Union won the toss and elected to bat first. The team lost two early wickets in the first five overs due to good bowling from the opposition, but Matt Harpur and Trevor Moos batted very well, and got the team to 65 runs with the loss of only 2 wickets in 25 overs. They were set to build a good score. Unfortunately wickets were lost at regular intervals and Union was bowled out for 94 in the 44th over.

Union started their bowling attack and took regular wickets throughout the innings, which made the match very exciting. Pearson reached the Union score in the 35th over, winning the match by 3 wickets.

Top batsmen were Matt Harpur with 34 runs, Luke McNaughton with 18 and Trevor Moos with 17. Top bowlers were Sinethemba Ndudula, who took 3 wickets for 13 runs in 10 overs, Matthew Broeksma with 1 wicket for 14 in 6 overs, Waylon du Plessis with 1 wicket for 15 in 9 overs and Luke McNaughton, who took 2 wickets for 17 runs in 4 overs.

2nd Team
Union High won the toss and elected to bat. After a good opening stand of 51 runs and looking like the Union boys will put up a good score, Matthew Hesselink got caught at mid-on. That seemed to be the beginning of the end, as Peter Watermeyer was run out shortly after that.

The batsmen were not bowled out - it was rather an issue of batsmen not valuing their wickets and not applying themselves. Union was eventually bowled out for 60.

The boys went onto the field knowing the score will be difficult to defend, non the less they bowled well, but lacked some commitment in the field. Gregon Jenneke and Noa Cilliers each took one wicket and Pearson won by 8 wickets.
The top batsmen were Matthew Hesselink with 23 runs, and Peter Watermeyer with 18. The bowlers, Gregon Jenneke took 1 wicket for 22 runs in 3 overs, and Noa Cilliers 1 for 8 in 1 over.

Under 15s
In the Under 15 match, Pearson won the toss, elected to bat first and scored 246 for 9 in their 50 overs. Kyle-Luke du Preez took a brilliant 6 wickets in his bowling attack.
Union went in to bowl and Brett Amsterdam top-scored with 22 runs. Unfortunately the challenge was too big and the boys were bowled out for 80 runs. Pearson won the match by 166 runs.



On Friday 1 September the Eco Club visited John Westcott's worm farm. Here John showed us how 'red worms' decompose almost any matter. They love dung, garden and kitchen waste.The Eco Club has been discovering why we need to reduce our waste that goes to the landfill site. They have also learned about Mr Potgieter's recycling centre which collects, sorts and bails waste products. These bails are then transported to recycling centres in the country. Now the club learned that kitchen and garden waste can be decomposed by red worms and turned into rich compost/potting soil. One of the by-products of worm farming is 'worm tea' -(liquid gold) rich in nitrogen and an excellent plant and soil enhancer. If we sort our waste and contribute towards recycling projects, make a compost heap or worm farm, then we will have minimal waste that has to be deposited at the landfill site. This is everyone's duty, as a landfill project costs millions of rands every few years. Help recycle and decompose waste - each person's efforts count!



During Assembly on Friday 1 September, Union High School celebrated Arbor Day. Mr Pringle, headmaster of Union High, informed the school’s learners about the history and importance of Arbor Day. Learners were asked to help with the planting of two Camdeboo Stinkwood trees. Mr Pringle, a lover of trees, spoke to the learners about the abundant benefits of these indigenous trees and pointed out that by the time the Grade 5s reach Matric, they will be enjoying the blessing of shade provided by these trees. Planting indigenous trees has far-reaching, valuable benefits and the best time to plant a tree is TODAY!

(Photo left) Headmaster, Mr Pringle addressing the learners of Union High on the abundant benefits of planting indigenous trees.  (Photo right) Two Grade 5 learners are planting a Camdeboo Stinkwood tree with the assistance of Estate Manager, Mr Donald Kingwill.


On Thursday, 31 August 2017, Arthur Kingwill House hosted their annual Hostel Supper for the boys and staff at the Tony Burrell Union. The guests were entertained in a Mexican way, thanks to Mr and Mrs Langmead and Mrs Kay Hesselink.

The hostel boys, dressed in their best attire, arrived at the Union where they were treated to a Tex-Mexican Kebab and Coke. The friendly banter amongst all the boys was contagious and not long after they have arrived they were asked to take their seats for the prize-giving.

We wish to congratulate the following earners on their achievements:
Jnr Sportsman of the year - Aron Erasmus
Snr Sportsman of the year - Ronan Retief

Jnr General Knowledge Champion - Matthew Ferreira & Jude Langmead
Snr General Knowledge Champion - Ronan Retief

Top Academic Achievements:
Gr 5 to 7 - Brent Hesselink
Gr 8 to 9 - Matthew Hesselink
Gr 10-12 - Peter Watermeyer

Service Prizes were awarded to:
Lonwabo Njeje
Matthew Broeksma
Zolisa Dweba
Michael Krige
David Macozoma

All-Rounder Boarder - Peter Watermeyer

Hostel Superintendent, Mr Donald Kingwill encouraged the boys and staff alike by showing them a clip by Admiral William McRaven, in which McRaven encourages people to do the simple things in life, starting by making your bed, which will result in you achieving more goals during the day. Four books, titled: MAKE YOUR BED – by Admiral William McRaven were handed out to 4 lucky winners.

S’bongakonke Koyingana and all of the gentlemen at AK House entertained us in song. This is always a highlight on our programme - something that we will never get used to.

The evening ended off with the announcement of the 2018 Arthur Kingwill House Prefects:
(left to right) Michael Krige - AKH Head Prefect, Olwethu NgCai, Mtha Mzimba, Litha Manuybe,
David Macozoma, Zolisa Dweba, Matthew Broeksma

   Superintendent, Mr Donald Kingwill and his wife, Alet.



On Wednesday, 30 August the Grade 10 Science class went on an excursion to the water purification works and Graaff-Reinet surrounds. They got off to an early start, visiting the Nqweba dam first in order to conduct quality tests on the water. The morning was cold but the setting was very tranquil and peaceful with the water as still as a mirror, with gemsbok grazing on the far bank. Using a test kit the learners conducted their water tests in groups, testing factors such as pH, water turbidity, dissolved oxygen and hardness.

Thereafter they proceeded to test the furrow water (Mackie’s Pitt water), that floods our fields at regular intervals, at the point where it emerges out of the ground at the top end of Cradock Street. Having one complete set of tests under their belts the groups were by now ‘pros’ and the testing proceeded much quicker.

The learners were then dropped off at the Camdeboo Muncipality Water Filtration works where they were taken through the steps used in purifying dam water to make it usable for household use. Mr Niemand, our guide, told us that the water levels in the dam were now at 16 % and a further 5 % drop will render it unusable at the plant and with water then being obtained from boreholes, of which there are about 18 available in the surrounding area. Already, because the water level is so low, there is an increase in the amount of algae and silt entering the filtration system causing the filters to have to be cleaned up to three times per day. Mr Niemand reminded the learners how important it is to use our water sparingly and responsibly.

After an interesting morning the group returned to school where they concluded the excursion by conducting quality tests on tap water and borehole water. Using information from the excursion the learners will be completing a project where they will compare the different water sources they tested as well as prepare a step by step flowchart on water purification.