Department Roasts Retired Lt. Bill Lally
By Steve Jusseaume
Hampton Union, Tuesday, January 28, 2003
farewell party Friday night at the Ashworth Hotel.
[Staff photo by Sarah Zenewicz]
HAMPTON - Retired Hampton Lt. Bill Lally was hosted, toasted and roasted Friday during a reception in his honor held at the Ashworth Hotel.
More than 100 friends and co-workers filled the Hampton Room at the Hampton Beach landmark for the occasion, which featured a visit from Lally's long-lost "Auntie Henrietta" and the New Hampshire Police Association Fife & Drum Band.
Police Chief Bill Wrenn acted as emcee for the evening.
"Bill is one of my closest friends," Wrenn said at one point. "We both came in (to the Hampton Department) together in 1974. We've been close friends ever since. I hate to see him go, but I'm happy he's found himself an excellent second career."
Lally, who retired late last year, is now working with the Lowell, Mass., Police Department in training.
"Bill was a hard-working detective for many years. He's been a solid police officer. He handled every situation with humor, he kept things light in the station house. You can see the respect he has with so many of his fellow police officers here tonight," Wrenn said.
"Auntie Henrietta" started the evening, thanking Bill for his support, recalling his many accomplishments, and noting she had stopped by Dunkin' Donuts on her way to the party. "I love doughnuts... Oh, I'm in good company here, aren't I?"
"But bran muffins are much better for you. I've eaten so many bran muffins I've been passing wicker furniture for days," Henrietta said. She presented Lally with a hat and a stick pony.
Joe Galvin and Al Roach presented Lally with a Boston rocker.
The Fife & Drum Band honored Lally with several tunes on the bagpipes. The band included Steve Champey, a patrolman with the Hampton department. Among the tunes the band played were "America the Beautiful," "Rose of Allentown," and the "Marine Corps Hymn."
"I'm overwhelmed. I haven't seen a lot of these guys in a long time," Lally said, noting several friends who attended from other departments around the region, including John Smith of Ossipee.
Born in Lowell, Lally said his new job is something of a homecoming. He recalled starting his career in Lowell, in the department radio room.
Joe Jones of the Hampton PD, who worked with Lally for years, thanked him for all the encouragement and friendship. At one point, Jones credited Lally for his sensitivity and refinement.
"You know," Jones said. "Bill was the first homosexual to ever work in the Hampton Police Department. He likes to shower in front of the rest of us." Lally only laughed.
His wife of 17 years, Sandy, sitting at a nearby table with the couple's two children, was astonished. "The department's first homosexual? Oh. That's news to me," Sandy said.