Whilst I can sympathise with Dorothy O Brien’s sentiments ‘Just shocking’ (SN, 06/02/2018), it is also really heartening to hear the secretary of the Lerwick Junior Up Helly Aa committee stating that on a personal level he understands the desire for change to the boy only aspect of the event. Wonder if others of a like mind would also speak up.
Given the voluntary nature of the Junior UHA committee it is important that the junior UHA does not grow so large as to be unmanageable. Indications of further community support would likely be welcome should overall numbers need to increase.
It is important too, however, that a genuine equality of opportunity to participate in a gender-neutral junior jarl procession is secured. There is no need to insist on separate girl and boy squads, princesses or posies.
Voting arrangements for future junior jarls should fairly allow for an equal likelihood that a girl or a boy be selected. Achieving this is not beyond the wit of man, particularly if the tradition of having the vote held in the Anderson High School is upheld.