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Neighbourhood > Guest Character Profiles > Ruby Dwyer Maureen Edwards

Ruby Dwyer 2002-2003
Lived: 24 Ramsay Street
Children: Derek
Occupation: Coffee Shop Assistant

After weeks of trying to find the perfect woman through a dating agency, Harold Bishop was thrilled to meet kind and gentle Ruby Dwyer. Like Harold, Ruby enjoyed doing charity work and attending recitals, but from the outset, Rosie Hoyland was suspicious of this supposedly perfect woman. After going away together, Ruby and Harold returned to town with their relationship on firm grounding. Rosie’s misgivings continued to grow, however, though she found it hard to admit to herself that she was in any way jealous.

After a few weeks, Ruby began to speak of her son, Derek, who was about to lose his farm in the country as he couldn’t afford to pay his debts. Harold immediately offered to lend Ruby some money, something which once again aroused Rosie’s suspicions. The Reverend decided to look into Derek’s home town a little more and try to find out why the local church there wouldn’t help him out. When she learnt that nobody of Derek’s name lived in the town Ruby had mentioned, she quickly covered her lie by explaining that she was simply growing forgetful. Harold was upset with Rosie for interfering, but then money started going missing from other places – the Coffee Shop during one of Ruby’s shifts and from Rosie’s handbag during play rehearsals.

When Harold offered to donate a kidney to his oldest friend, Lou, Ruby offered to mind number 24 while Harold was away in hospital. However, she had ulterior motives. Desperate to pay off her debts, she arranged for two men, Ben and Luke, to break into Harold’s house, then sell off his belongings to help her raise some cash. Rosie was immediately convinced that the burglary was no coincidence and her suspicions seemed to be confirmed when she saw Ruby sneaking out of a casino. Ruby knew she’d been rumbled and confessed everything – the burglary, her gambling addiction – to Rosie, who, in her role as minister was unable to tell Harold. But this information seemed too severe to keep to herself, so she spoke to Harold, who was horrifed with Ruby for betraying him and with Rosie for betraying her role as minister. Ruby reported Rosie to the Bishop for her actions, but still wanted to repair her relationship with Harold. She explained to him how much his friendship meant to her, especially as few people had ever cared for her that much, and she announced that she was going away to get professional help for her problem. She did, however, vow to return when she felt stronger.

Not long after, Ruby returned to town, hopeful that she could repair the damage she had done on her last visit. Harold was thrilled to have Ruby back with him and welcomed her back, offering her a room, though she preferred to stay in a hostel, not wanting to push his generosity a second time. Lou, however, wasn’t so quick to trust the woman who had ruined Harold’s life and caused Rosie to leave town. Shortly after Ruby’s return, the takings were stolen from the pub and Lou immediately pointed the finger at Ruby, accusing her only when Harold had left the pub, and asking her to empty her handbag for him. Only days later, a package for Karl Kennedy was wrongly delivered to number 24, so Ruby popped over there to return it. After getting no answer, she left it on the doorstep and returned to doing her washing at Harold’s house, her movements witnessed by Connor O’Neill.

When it was revealed that the Kennedy home had been burgled that afternoon, and precious jewels inherited by Karl had been stolen, Ruby was soon a suspect. The evidence weighed against her – she had offered to help Susan and Karl get the jewellery valued only days before – this, teamed with Connor’s witness statement led to Ruby’s arrest. However, when Darcy Tyler was revealed as the culprit, several people were forced to eat humble pie and apologise. It seemed that Harold and Ruby could finally be happy. When Ruby pointed out a statue in the window of the local op shop that she had on lay-by and was gradually repaying, Harold decided to buy it back for her. Though moved by his gesture, Ruby began to realise that she would never be able to stand on her own two feet with Harold there. This, teamed with her inability to compete with the memory of Harold’s late wife, Madge, led to her deciding to go and stay with Derek on his farm for a while. Harold and Ruby said a tearful farewell and she was gone from his life, as suddenly as she’d arrived.

Notes: Maureen Edwards originally played the role of Marcia Taylor in the first few weeks of Neighbours initial run on Channel Seven

Biography by Steve


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