Parade Marshal

2020 Parade Marshal

William Flaherty

Bill Flaherty was born and raised in West Springfield and continues to be a proud member of the community. He and his wife, Nancy, have been married for 16 years.  They have two children, Billy and Aidan. 

Bill is currently the West Springfield Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director.  He joined the Fire Department in December 1988 and earned an associates degree in Fire Science from STCC. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 1995, Deputy Chief in 2003, and has held the position of Fire Chief since 2011.  Bill is also a member of the New England Fire Chiefs and the Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts. He was also a past president of both the Western Massachusetts Fire Chiefs and the Hampden County Fire Mutual Aid Association.

Aside from his duties with the Fire Department, Bill is also on the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Club, a current board member for Freedom Credit Union, and a member of the West Springfield Retirement Board.  He is also a member of the West Springfield Rotary Club, the CARE Coalition Steering Committee and the Knights of Columbus.  He was also recently sworn in as Honorary Commander of 439th Contingency Response Flight at Westover Air Reserve Base. 

Bill spends time with his family attending various sporting events for his children.  He has been a volunteer for the Park and Recreation Department as a coach for baseball, basketball and soccer.  Even before having children, Bill was active in coaching various teams for the Park and Rec Department, as well as the St. Thomas CYO program where he continues coaching today. Bill is a recipient of the West Springfield Park and Recreation Commissioner’s Award and the prestigious Aime Levesque Award for outstanding volunteer community service.

Along with his 5 brothers and sisters, Bill was raised by his parents, John and Mary, in a home that took pride in their strong Irish heritage. John was a previous Parade Marshal, and Mary was the West Springfield Parade Committee’s first Senior Colleen. Their deep Irish roots can be traced back to Counties Kerry and Mayo, where relatives still reside today.  Bill is a member of the Irish Cultural Center of Western MA and active in the Sister City Committee with Dingle Ireland, the Sons of Erin, and the West Springfield St. Patrick’s Parade Committee.

Bill takes great pride in the fact that not only does he follow in his father’s footsteps as Fire Chief, he also has the honor of being Parade Marshal as his father was in 1991.  He looks forward to leading the Town of West Springfield contingent in the 2020 St. Patrick’s Day Parade.



Photo: W. Springfield Record

May the sun shine, all day long,

everything go right, and nothing wrong.

May those you love bring love back to you,

and may all the wishes you wish come true.

Past Town Marshals

  • 1961 - Thomas F. “Jinx” Powers*
  • 1964 - Judge Edward Peck
  • 1985 - Chief Thomas McNamara*
  • 1986 - James Welch*
  • 1987 - Richard Sullivan
  • 1988 - William “Buster” Lyons*
  • 1989 - Dr. Fredrick Conlin*
  • 1990 - Raymond Mulcahy*
  • 1991 - Chief John Flaherty*
  • 1992 - Peggy Poremby*
  • 1993 - Reverend John Cain*
  • 1994 - Edmond “Ned” Bowler
  • 1995 - Gerald D. Healy
  • 1996 - Gerald P. Connor, Jr.*
  • 1997 - Dr. William O’Shea
  • 1998 - Paul Clark
  • 1999 - Gerald Begley, Sr.*
  • 2000 - Margaret “Peg” Taylor*
  • 2001 - John R. “Jack” Allen
  • 2002 - Louise Mehegan*
  • 2003 - Martin C. Lyons
  • 2004 - Fr. Michael Twohig
  • 2005 - Atty. Dennis Powers
  • 2006 - Edward C. Sullivan
  • 2007 - Maryruth Kane
  • 2008 - Jim Russell
  • 2009 - Peter Stewart*
  • 2010 - George R. Kelly
  • 2011 - Edward J. Shea*
  • 2012 - James Conlin
  • 2013 - Edward F. Foley, Sr.*
  • 2014 - Aldo Paier
  • 2015 - Robert M. Collins
  • 2016 - Lynn McCarthy
  • 2017 - Mark Drugan
  • 2018 - James Martin
  • 2019 - Al Howard​

* = In Loving Memory