Rose Belker 2002-2006
> Guest Character
Rose Belker Esme Melville
Marital Status: Arthur (Died)
A frequent visitor to Karl Kennedy’s surgery, and somewhat hard of hearing, Rose Belker was an Erinsborough local who, although getting on in years, still had a spring in her step. When rumours were spread around Erinsborough that Karl’s partner in the surgery, Darcy Tyler, had been sleeping with patients, Rose was quick to end their consultation when he put his stethoscope on her chest and asked her to take “nice, big breathes.” Health problems also led to her spending regular time in Erinsborough Hospital, where local hairdresser Lyn Scully offered to give her a makeover. Rose, being Rose, had to be talked out of having her silver locks dyed blue. But Rose’s few months in hospital had a happy ending as she underwent a successful operation with renowned surgeon Martin Cook and was allowed home.
Of course, it wasn’t long before Rose was back at the surgery with a new complaint – a rash, which Dr Tyler was unable to diagnose, as it didn’t seem to exist. Over the weeks that followed, Rose became concerned that she was developing Alzheimer’s disease in her old age, and decided that the best course of action was to give her son-in-law, Warren O’Farrell, full power of attorney. She visited lawyers Tim Collins and Toadie Rebecchi to organise things, but Tim wasn’t impressed as she failed to bring her chequebook and gave them a cake as a thank you instead. When she admitted that her phone had been cut off and she couldn’t remember paying the bill, Tim was ready to give up on the new client, but Toadie persevered, promising Rose that she would be well looked after.
Although Toadie became convinced that Rose wasn’t developing Alzheimer’s and it was actually Warren making her feel that way, and an unconvinced Tim agreed to help him investigate further. After chatting to Rose, and looking at the findings of some psychiatric tests, Tim and Toadie realised that she was actually quite alert. Despite Tim’s misgivings, Toadie decided to interview Warren and try to get to the bottom of the matter. During the interview, a smug Warren threatened to sue the lawyers for their false allegations, until Toadie produced photographic evidence of him tampering with her fuse box when she wasn’t at home. Later that day, Rose caught up with Tim and Toadie to thank them for all of their hard work and to give them $1500 – in cash – for their efforts.
The following year, Rose was out in the park when her favourite hat, given to her by her late husband, Arthur, was caught in a gust of wind and blew out onto Lassiter’s Lake. She quickly enlisted the help of passing police officers Olivia McPherson and Stuart Parker, who, after several attempts to retrieve the hat with a long stick, was forced to wade in a get it himself. Rose then happily headed off to an appointment at the hospital, but was in for her second shock of the day when she found Dr Tyler at the bottom of a staircase. She called the police, who concluded that he must have fallen, and he was left in coma for almost twelve months. Rose, meanwhile, took her mind off things by attending a lingerie party in Ramsay Street, organised by Sky Mangel and Sindi Watts, where she bought plenty of new outfits to keep her new beau entertained.
Back in hospital the following year, Rose found a depressed Paul Robinson in the corridor. Paul had recently lost a leg following an accident and was sadly in no mood to be lectured to when Rose spotted him and reminded him that Jesus still loved him. She was back at the hospital a few months later after injuring her wrist where she found herself caught up in the middle of a feud between Dr Kennedy and new nurse, Katya Kinski. When new parking inspector Ned Parker went on a power trip, Rose turned out to be one of his many victims. She caught up with him in the General Store and begged him to reconsider the fine, as her pension didn’t stretch far. At first, Ned refused to change his mind, but, after being goaded by Paul Robinson, he ripped the ticket up. He then invited a delighted Rose to join him for coffee and cake, and she happily accepted, commenting “ooh, it’s just like the war.”
Notes: Esme Melville previously played Mrs York in 1986, Jean Halliday in 1993 and Moina Beresford in 1994.
Click here to read our interview with Esme, and here to read our tribute to her
Biography by Steve