Contrary to what most people already know, the Celtic people are not solely Irish, Scottish or Welsh. The Celtic tribes migrated across Europe thousands of years ago from the east making their mark on the landscape. The earliest archeological sites ever discovered show Celtic settlements in Austria and burial sites far east into China where male warriors were enrobed and buried in obvious Celtic Tartans/Plaids. The Romans documented many cases of battles and periods of peace and trade with Celtic/Gaelic tribes on the Northern border of Italy as well as in France and Spain. The Celts have left their traditions and bloodlines all across Europe and parts of Asia.  The Romans mingled with the Celtic tribes during their occupation of Briton along Hadrian’s Wall, the northern most border of the Roman Empire constructed to defend against the Scots, the Celtic people that resided in what is now know as Scotland. These Scots (also called Caledonians) were feared and admired by the Romans so much so that many were employed as bodyguards for the Roman elite such as Pontius Pilate. As the Roman Empire conquered much of Europe it did not enter into Scotland, the Welsh Highlands and the Emerald Isle, Ireland, thus leaving it’s Celtic people and their traditions intact and why those countries are referred to as the modern Celtic Nations.

            As the British Empire grew over the past hundreds of years, the Celtic Warriors of Scotland, Ireland and Wales were once again employed but this time by the British Monarchy to defend the “Crown” and enforce it rule over it’s empire that extended into much of Asia, Africa, Australia, North America and the Middle East. As they used to say, “The sun never sets on the British Empire”. As these Celtic soldiers were deployed across the globe they brought their music and traditions with them. The Scottish regiments did not go anywhere without their national instrument and the only instrument ever to be declared an instrument of war, the Highland Bagpipes. Prior to their acceptance into the British military, the English outlawed the playing of the Bagpipes in Scotland and Ireland, hanging those who defied that law because it rallied the Celtic people to rise up against their English overseers.  Today, the Highland Bagpipes are played worldwide with some of the best pipe bands hailing from Australia, Canada, Ireland and of course Scotland. Here in the U.S., there have been some very successful pipe bands to emerge in the past few years such as The City of Washington Pipe Band 1999 Grade 2 World Champions, L.A. Scots Pipe Band 1997 Grade 2 World Champions and Prince Charles Pipe Band 2000 Grade 2 World Champions. For more information see www.bobdunsire.com 

            The Transit Police Celtic Society of New Jersey was formed to encourage and foster an environment of learning and keeping the Celtic traditions alive bringing people of many backgrounds and cultures together under one common theme. Our Society is not one of exclusion but of inclusion. Too many organizations limit membership to a particular ethnic background or heritage but to be Celtic means so much more. No matter what your ethnic background is, nationality or race, odds are you have Celtic blood in you and if not, some of your traditions have roots in Celtic society.


Jim Rodgers

Tutum Te Robore Reddam

The first meeting

The Charter Members being sworn in