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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.

Later 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.