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Neighbourhood > Guest Character Profiles > Edna Ramsay Jessica Noad

Edna May Ramsay (née Wilkins) 1986-1988
Marital Status: Dan Ramsay
Children: Max, Tom and Madge

Family Tree: Ramsay
Occupation: Retired

Kind and caring, Edna Wilkins was just out of school in Depression-era Queensland when she met the pig-headed and fussy Dan Ramsay at a dance. Dan had just recently moved to Brisbane from his home town of Erinsborough in Melbourne and they quickly fell in love They married in 1936, and had three children Max, Tom and Madge, who all inherited their father's brash, no-nonsense characteristics. As the children grew, it looked like Edna would see all her children marry good partners - Max met the beautiful Italian Maria Rossi and Tom married a local nurse. But above all, Madge was dating Harold Bishop, who Edna - and even Dan - adored. But Madge shocked her parents by marrying the philandering Fred Mitchell. The marriage proved to be a volatile one, and just as Edna had feared, ended in divorce, forcing Madge to return to Erinsborough to start afresh.

After 50 years of marriage, Edna was furious when she caught Dan flirting with Rosie Jacobs from the local bowls club and she threw him out. Dan fled to Erinsborough to stay with Madge and Tom, who had also relocated there after becoming estranged from his daughter in the wake of his wife's death. Tom and Madge were both curious as to what had caused Dan to land on their doorstep without Edna, and when he refused to tell them anything, they began to worry. Unable to contact Edna, Tom finally got through to Max and Maria and discovered his mum was staying there. Edna was later in floods of tears on the phone to Madge as she told her how she had had to get out of their neighbourhood because she couldn't hold her head up in the wake of Dan's philandering. Desperate to reconcile her parents, Madge took the advice of her zany next door neighbour, Clive Gibbons, and invited Edna down to Erinsborough to stay with her for a while, with the assurance that Dan had left town. Edna agreed but was disgusted when she arrived on Ramsay Street to find that Dan was still staying with Madge. Unimpressed with Madge's subterfuge, Edna ordered her to decide who she wanted to stay and who she wanted to go.

Madge refused to choose between her parents and so, they were forced to agree to tolerate each other around the house. Dan tried to wind Edna up by gloating about a dinner date he had arranged with family friend Helen Daniels, while Edna ignored him as best she could to concentrate on catching up with Tom, Madge and grandchildren Charlene and Shane. Tom was chuffed when Edna announced his estranged daughter Moira had given birth to a baby girl, Holly, and after having a look at some photos of his new granddaughter that Edna had brought with her, Tom decided to visit her to heal their rift. Edna, meanwhile, chastised Dan for not bothering to tell Tom the news about his granddaughter when he had first arrived. As Dan prepared to escape the grief being heaped upon him and have dinner with Helen, he had no idea that Madge and Clive had hathced a plan with Helen with the intention of sending him straight back into the arms of Edna. Throughout the meal, Helen was to be rude and disagreeable and prompt Dan to abhor her as a woman with her own mind. But the plan backfired and Dan began to find Helen even more appealing. After dinner, Dan insisted on bringing her home to the Ramsay house to have a glass of port as a nightcap. Edna had just gone to take a bath but when she heard Dan and Helen talking to Madge, she rushed out in a state, calling Helen a jezebel and telling Dan that she could no longer tolerate his eye for the ladies and wanted a divorce.

Edna made a big show of demonstrating how happy she was with life after Dan, taking up aerobics and telling Madge and Charlene how she was going to enjoy her golden era. But Madge knew she was secretly devastated at the prospect of her marriage ending, and again enlisted the services of Clive to help out. This time, Clive suggested Edna make Dan jealous by taking a man out for dinner. But when he said the man should be over 60, Edna dismissed the notion of the gentleman having to be older and instead suggested Clive himself. Although slightly uncomfortable with the notion, Clive later wound Dan up in the Waterhole by announcing age differences were merely outdated social conventions and he would be going on a date with Edna – secretly infuriating Dan. When Clive called over to the Ramsay house to pick Edna up for their date, Dan was furious with the roses he presented for her and accused him of knicking them from Jim Robinson's garden. Clive and Edna went on to have a lovely, fun night out down at The Waterhole where Edna beat Clive at darts and went on to open up to him about how much things had changed between her and Dan.

Edna was in for a shock when she went to see a divorce lawyer and discovered the marriage had never been legal in the first place. It turned out that the itinerant minister Dan had got to preside over their wedding 50 years before had actually been a charlatan and had conned a number of couples into parting with their money around that time. Dan was shocked by the revelation just as much as Edna was but refused to accept any blame, even when Edna insisted it was his determination to get hitched on the cheap that had landed them in the mess they now found themselves in. Edna angrily accused Dan of causing her to live in sin for fifty years but when she had calmed later, she broached the subject of what they should do next. But Dan, unable to admit his true feelings, insisted he was glad to be free and headed off to the pub. Shane called in just as Dan was leaving and comforted an upset Edna as she lamened the way things had turned out with Dan and reminisced about how happy they used to be together. When Dan arrived home that evening, he and Edna chatted about old times but just as Edna suggested they make another go of things, a stubborn Dan dismissed the notion, claiming it was too late for them to start all over again.

Luckily for the Ramsays, Clive could see that they were still smitten with each other and concocted one final plan to reunite the couple, calling upon Shane, Charlene, her boyfriend Scott and their mate Mike Young to aid him in his attempts. Charlene started by chatting to Edna about old times and how she had first met Dan, while down at the Waterhole, Shane and Clive got Dan talking about the depression and meeting Edna for the first time. Edna spoke glowingly to Charlene about how good a dancer Dan was, and she showed Charlene one of the dances they used to do, as she hummed a song that was special to them called 'Wanting You, Wanting Me.' That evening at dinner, Madge cooked Dan rabbit which reminded him of the Depression and he and Edna were then summoned into the living room by Clive, dressed in 1930s garb, along with Scott, Charlene, Shane and Mike. Clive announced he was holding a farewell party for Dan and Edna to mark their separation and began by showing slides of life in the 1930s. Charlene and Scott, dressed as a young Dan and Edna, danced in the background to Mike playing some old music while Clive told the tale of how the couple met for the first time at a dance. Dan and Edna became nostalgic for the old days and began to dance while Charlene serenaded them with 'Wanting You, Wanting Me.' Realising that they were too well matched to give up, Dan delighted Edna by asking her to marry him, to which she said yes.

They quickly made plans for their wedding and Clive thrilled them when he found out they could get an extra quick marriage licence on accunt of their unusual circumstances. Charlene found some boxes of Dan and Edna's old clothes under the house and asked Edna if she could wear one of her 1930s dresses to the wedding. Edna was delighted by the idea and started dusting off an old gown herself for the ceremony – although Dan's allergies started to get in the way and she hoped he would be ok by the big day. There was also a last minute hiccup when Dan started grumbling about the cost of the wedding flowers and Edna became upset at Dan once again trying to take shortcuts with their wedding. He halted his complaining when she warned him that if he didn't do things properly this time around, there wouldn't be a wedding.

Edna and Dan finally married, after 50 years, in a private church ceremony with Madge, Charlene, Shane and Clive present. Afterwards, Dan surprised Edna by announcing he had booked the same honeymoon they had spent fifty years previous in Surfer's Paradise and the happy couple drove out of Erinsborough in a vintage car. But just before they left, Edna stopped the car to throw her bouquet and with zero subtlety, lobbed it straight into Clive's hands. As the 'newlyweds' left, Clive lamented that perhaps at a different time and different place, he and Edna could have been something.

Edna was thrilled when Madge finally settled down with Harold the following year, after he had moved to Erinsborough and started seeing Madge again, eventually becoming engaged. And Edna proved that she could live up to the famously stern Ramsay name when she pulled Harold aside before the wedding ceremony and gave him a firm warning to look after her girl - or deal with her wrath.

Biography by Mark



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