However, the gala committee has moved quickly to reject any charges of sexism, putting the lack of lads down to male reluctance to take part.
When the 2019 court members chosen from the area’s schools were announced earlier this week, the Gazette was quickly contacted by some parents, angered that the inclusion of boys in the general court for the first time in 2017 has now been discontinued.
One reader, Jacqueline Glen, got in touch, stating: “The people of Carluke, Law and Braidwood are not happy. How can the gala committee take the boys out the court?”
She added a link to Facebook comments on the court, many of them positive but several highly critical at the ‘Lost Boys’ from the 2019 celebrations.
Now the only male representation will be the Champion and Crown-bearer.
Gala committee chairperson Laura Murray rejected any charges of anti-male bias, explaining: “The boys were introduced into the court for Gala 2017. There was not a great response from the boys but enough to go ahead in October 2017. When the court was chosen again we had a very poor response from the boys, including one school not having a boy to enter into the ballot. This was only rectified when a volunteer stepped in some weeks before the actual event.
“A unanimous decision was taken by the committee not to include boys for the 2019 court with the exception of the Champion and crown bearer. Although we did get a Champion for 2019 there was only two boys in the ballot.”