Ernie Patchett played by Vic Rooney
Episodes 1 - 200 & 276 - 404
Ernie owns Pachetts Pacific - the E Street pub. He is a loveable bloke and loves
nothing more than to see his family happy and to share a joke with his friends.
Ernie is a widower after his wife Rosie died. He loved her dearly and they had a
good marriage. He prides himself in the pub and his son, Chris - the only two
things he has left of Rosie. His closest friends are George and Martha and he
often plays cupid in their budding relationship. He is also very fond of Lisa
Bennett who works as a barmaid in his pub. He sees her as the daughter he never
had and she looks on him as the father she never had. So obviously when Chris
and Lisa get engaged he is thrilled. He gives Chris Rosie's ring to give to Lisa
and throws an engagement party for them in the park. Ernie is happiest when
Chris is. After the party Lisa is raped by her mothers boyfriend, Sam. When she
finds it impossible to talk to Chris their engagement is called off. Ernie is
just as devastated as Chris but remains a good friend to Lisa. When Chris meets
Megan just days later and the pair get married Ernie is understandably shocked
but he supports Chris. Ernie likes Megan and becomes more of a family to her
than her own parents have ever been. When rock and roll wannabe Jo - Jo arrives
in town he is besotted with her. She shows an interest in him, they like the
same music and have the same views on life. He thinks she has more than
friendship in mind and is quite upset when she apologises for leading him on.
Ernie's effort regain his lost youth has failed and he feels miserable. To cheer
him up the residents of E Street send him on a holiday.
When he returns there is
an elegant glow about him. Ernie has met a woman. The Las Vegas showgirl Abby
arrives in Westside and Ernie is quite obviously in love. Not all of his friends
approve but he's so happy he doesn't even notice, if he does notice then he
doesn't care. To keep in line along comes Auntie Vi. Ernie's Aunt soon has her `pud`
standing to attention. She doesn't like Abby and is out to cause trouble
between them. However both Abby and Vi are fantastic and their battles are a
constant source of humour!! Ernie's family is developing, Chris, Megan, Abby and
Vi - not to mention his first grandchild on the way. Ernie is also a surrogate
family to Lisa, Alice and the other waifs and stays of Westside. He deals with
the family tragedies that pass him by and is always on hand to help. There comes
a point when Abby proposes to Ernie. He says no, he doesn't see the point of
marriage after they've been so happy. However Abby needs to marry. Without a
husband her visa will run out and she'll have to leave Australia. Vi makes the
situation sound more sordid than it is and Ernie begins to have his doubts about
Abby. She leaves and Ernie's heart is broken. Martha advises him to go and get
her, if her really loves her that he has to show her. So Ernie whisks Abby to
the Gold Coast where he proposes. She accepts the wedding plans begin! Vi is
extremely left out. She feels that Abby will take over he family and sets out
to wreck the wedding. On the eve of the wedding, after Ernie's 70`s theme stag
night, Vi sends him on a bus to no - where. Drunk and dressed as Elvis he wakes
up a million miles from Westside! He hitches a ride in a farmers truck and just
makes it to his wedding on time. Set on a river boat amongst all his friends
Ernie finally marries Abby. It also seems that the pair have finally got Auntie
Vi's seal of approval.
At the Kookas final, where Ernie is club president, he
becomes a grandfather. He is so proud of Chris and his grand daughter Rachel. He
witnesses the birth and the look on his face is one of pure emotion. Ernie and
Abby live in a constant honeymoon. His youth is regained and he's so happy.
Which makes the next event in his life all the more devastating. Whilst Sonny
Bennett is terrorising the lives of the E Streeters, Ernie keeps everyone
spirits high. He looks after Lisa and is a source of support. But in one fatal
blow the roles are reversed and E Street has to look after Ernie when Chris,
Megan and Abby are killed in a bomb planted for Bob by Sonny. Not only does
Ernie have to deal with loosing his Son, Wife and Daughter in law but he now
has to take on the responsibility of Chris` daughter Rachel. Ernie sails through
this task but he can't grieve. He shuts out Vi and Alice and locks himself in
his room with the only thing he has left of his Son. The Bromley's appear on the
day of the funeral and pretty soon demand custody of Rachel. Ernie doesn't know
what to do, he is lost. Auntie Vi puts up a fight but it gets them no- where.
The Bromley's take Rachel to England and Ernie's family is again pulled apart. The
separation from Rachel is too much to handle and Ernie leaves Westside to follow
his grand daughter. He leaves a letter explaining why. He asks Max to look after
a devastated Vi and Alice and sends his love saying it won't be forever.
in E Street, Vi also leaves and Ernie sends his Cousin Mary from England to look
after the pub. When Alice gives birth to her daughter, Amber, along comes a
figure with a teddy bear hiding his face. The man in charge of the figure is
Ernie - he has come back to Westside because he's sick of the cold bear and hot
pies!!! He resumes is place in the Westside community - providing Lisa a
shoulder to cry on as she makes the decision to leave Westside. Life remains
quiet for Ernie. He desperately misses his family and we often see him looking
at the photo of Chris, Megan, Abby and Vi that he keeps in his wallet. Despite
his grief, Ernie's time away has made him a positive man and he lives for the
future partying with the youngsters until dawn! His good life catches up with
him and after a few funny spells he is diagnosed with diabetes.
To take a break
Ernie is sent to a health farm. He hates it, he is not fit and despises being
told what to do. While there history repeats itself and Ernie meets Sally
McKinnon. They get on well and have a mutual interest in.....each other. When
Ernie returns, Sally turns up in Westside and she begins working at the pub.
They face a few hurdles such as Jo - Jo's disapproval and Sally's worry over
breast surgery she has had done, but they overcome them and Ernie proposes.
Sally happily accepts but their wedding plans are clouded by the sudden death of
Ernie's close friend, Rev. Bob. Although Ernie feels it is not right to hold the
wedding in a grieving Westside, he feels that Bob would've wanted it to go on.
So Ernie whisks Sally away and with the help of witnesses Martha and George, an
Elvis impersonator as the minister and a white Limousine - Ernie marries Sally.
In the E Street finale Ernie is injured by an electric shock causing the pub to explode. His
livelihood goes up in flames but thankfully he is alright. Ernie was a true E
Streeter from beginning to end. His loveable ways and sense of fun defined his
character and I'm sure that Ernie is still serving beer and gossiping with
Martha the way he always did, whatever the surrounding.