> Guest Character
Charlie Cassidy Cliff Ellen
Charles 'Charlie' Peter Cassidy 2003, 2004
Marital Status: Catherine (deceased), Valda Sheergold (2004)
Children: Michael and Lyn
A local of Shelley Bay, Charlie Cassidy began a brief relationship with local girl Valda Sheergold, which resulted in her falling pregnant. Charlie began seeing another girl, Catherine, at the same time and Valda’s brother-in-law, Henry O’Rourke, blackmailed Charlie into leaving town. This meant that Henry and his wife, Connie, could adopt Lyn, Valda’s baby, so that she didn’t have to go through the shame of being a single mother. It was also a cover for Henry’s inability to provide his wife with children. Following this, Valda left for England, while Charlie and Catherine married and had a son, Michael.
In the years that followed, Catherine died and Charlie moved back to Shelley Bay where he set up a fishing business. Many years later, Lyn learnt that Valda and Charlie were her natural parents. She traced Charlie and they arranged a meeting, but Charlie was suddenly taken ill and admitted to hospital. When Lyn found out, she, followed closely by Valda, visited him. Having believed that Valda and Charlie were the bad guys, deliberately giving her up, Lyn was shocked to learn the truth about Henry. She found it difficult to forgive Charlie, but her resolve softened when she learnt that he was dying.
Some months later, Charlie came to town to visit his new grandson, Oscar. Realising the effect that his revelations had had on Lyn’s relationship with Henry, Charlie invited him down from Queensland. After only a few days, Charlie, Henry and Lyn managed to resolve their differences and put the problems of the past behind them.
The following year, Charlie returned to town just in time to see his granddaughter, Steph, marry Max Hoyland. With Valda also in town, he planned to make his peace with her for the way he’d treated her in the past. Although Valda found this difficult at first, she was moved when Charlie presented her with a pair of pearl earrings on the eve of the wedding. He told her how much she’d always meant to him. On the wedding day, chaos reigned when Max and Steph eloped, and the wedding party raced to find them before the ceremony began. Afterwards, Valda was phoning to cancel the elaborate wedding venue that had been previously booked, when Charlie suddenly got down on one knee and proposed. He told her that he wanted to make up for everything that had happened in the past, and treat her the way she deserved. And so, they were married with Lyn and Steph as bridesmaids, and the happy couple set off on their honeymoon.
During their long honeymoon, Charlie and Valda met up with his sister, hippy Doreen. Upon their return to Australia, Valda was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis and required several weeks of bed rest. Charlie realised that he was running out of time and he wanted to spend his last Christmas with his new-found daughter, Lyn, so Doreen agreed to accompany him to Australia. Charlie and Doreen tried to keep the truth about Charlie’s condition from Lyn until after Christmas, but Steph overheard them talking about it, then Lyn realised for herself when she spotted Charlie having a coughing fit outside the surgery. Although Lyn was determined that this wasn’t the end for her father, everyone else was a lot more accepting of the fact that he only had weeks to live. When Charlie was admitted to hospital, he announced that he wanted to at least have the dignity of dying at Lyn’s house, with his family around him. Karl agreed that there was very little that the doctors could do for him and that it would be better for Charlie to be comfortable and happy.
Charlie’s final wish was to set foot back on his boat, Sheergold Scandal – named by Valda. Steph and Doreen agreed to grant this and managed to sneak him down the coast. Unfortunately, he had another turn before they could get him onto the boat and Lyn turned up, furious with them for making his condition worse. In the end, the Scullys managed to bring the boat up to Ramsay Street on the trailer and Charlie spent Boxing Day afternoon happily recounting many of his sailing stories to his grandchildren. Later that day, Charlie wrote a letter to Valda, and while Lyn went to the airport to pick up Charlie’s son, Michael, who had been away in China, Steph chatted to Charlie and he told her that he was finally ready to give up. Steph sat with him as he passed away.
read our interview with Cliff Ellen, click
Biography by Steve