Kilts for Cops

This is a story that wouldn't quit! As far as fifteen years ago, Sgt. Michael Tamulonis, formerly of the Lincoln Police Department wanted the local force to be more in tune with the New Hampshire Highland Games, seeing as it has such a tremendous impact on the financial success of the area. For years, folks driving by the on-duty officers would yell out comments that the officers should be dressed in something Scottish, but the $400 per man for outfitting costs had always seemed too steep.

In 1995 , Sgt. Tamulonis started his own fund raising efforts in an attempt to get at least some of the full-time police officers into kilts for the games. In early February, he started the ball rolling with a bake sale at the local branch of Citizens Bank, which is partially owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland. The next phase was begun when the local correspondent for the Manchester Union Leader, Lorna Colquhoun, wrote a story about the quest. The Associated Press, who sent it out on the wire, picked up her story. Everyone started jumping on the bandwagon, first it was the BBC in London, the BBC in Glasgow, and finally Reuters. Articles followed British newspapers, and culminated with a front-page story in The Scotsman, Scotland’s largest newspaper.

Little by little, contributions began to accumulate. Local Scottish Wholesaler, Callum Grant, donated kilt hose and Glegarrys (Scottish Caps) and other Scottish shops followed suit. Sgt. Tamulonis, having been interviewed by numerous international media sources, became somewhat of a celebrity.

Consequently, the Highland Games sent out a press release leading to stories in such US Scottish media sources as the Scottish Banner and Scottish Life. Reading these, Dr. David "The Scotch Doc" McCoy called the Highland Games and offered to fly himself up from Texas to put on a "Whisky Tasting" in Lincoln. At the end of May he arrived, held the "Tasting", with some help from Callum Grant and Carol & George Worthley, and raised $500. At the same time, a new batch of the New Hampshire Tartan arrived at Johnston’s Scottish Shop in Goffstown. Margo Johnston and Nola Grant measured up the officers (no inseams, please), shipping the material directly to Kilt maker Ann Stewart in Catskill, New York.

The rest is history. We have eight of Lincoln’s finest outfitted to a "T", on display at the Highland Games. Give them a wave and tell them how good they look.