> Guest Character
Loris Timmins Kate Fitzpatrick
Loris Timmins (née Beaumont) 2006
Lived: Loris' house
Marital Status: Alwyn Timmins (separated)
Family Tree: Timmins
Wealthy Colac residents Loris and Alwyn Timmins were alarmed when their son, Kim, became involved with, and later married, local bogan Janelle Rebecchi. The union produced five children and, despite Loris and Alwyn’s best efforts, they could not split the pair up. When Janelle fell pregnant for a sixth time, relations between her and her mother-in-law were at an all-time low and Loris became determined that another of her grandchildren wouldn’t grow up with such a terrible mother. When Janelle gave birth, Loris was briefly left alone for a few minutes in the hospital nursery, due to an emergency, and, in a moment of anger, she swapped the baby bracelet on the Timmins baby with that of another child, Anne Baxter. Although she later realised how serious the implications were, and tried to rectify her mistake, it was too late and she kept quiet about it for 14 years.
During those 14 years, Janelle and four of her children – Dylan, Stingray, Janae and Bree (the youngest and the victim of the baby swap) – had relocated to Erinsborough. Loris’ marriage to Alwyn, meanwhile, was falling apart and he was taken ill, choosing to spend his final months in the company of his mistress rather than his wife. With Kim on the run from the law, Loris realised that her grandchildren were her final hope of not spending her twilight years alone, so she went to Erinsborough and rented out a house in her maiden name of Beaumont, before getting in touch with Janae, buying her love with a gift of $1000 as a belated gift for Janae’s recent marriage to Boyd Hoyland. She also found herself another interest by hiring Ned Parker as her personal trainer, though it quickly became obvious that she was more interested in him than the training. After a chat, during which Loris explained that she was resentful of her husband and had hoped to get revenge by having a fling with a younger man, the pair came to a new understanding, and Loris even offered to invest in Ned’s business.
What Ned and Loris failed to realise was that they had another connection – Ned shared a house in Ramsay Street with Toadfish Rebecchi, Janelle’s nephew, as well as Janae and Boyd, and the four of them lived opposite the Timmins family. Desperate that only Janae should know of her presence in Erinsborough, Loris took to sneaking around town, but when Ned took Toadie, as his lawyer, to dinner with Loris, her secret was almost revealed. It took Toadie a few days, but he eventually recognised ‘Nan Timmins’ and warned her not to hurt Ned or the Timmins family. Loris, however, was actually desperate to build bridges and, upon learning that 26 Ramsay Street, the house when Janelle and the kids had been living, was up for sale, she decided to buy it for them, before turning up there one day and announcing her presence to a horrified Janelle. After being thrown out of the house by Janelle, Loris headed to the Scarlet Bar to drown her sorrows, where she met Harold Bishop and the pair bonded over their favourite drink, raspberry cordial Tazzle’s and the fact that, due to a factory error, there was no new stock.
Meanwhile, Dylan managed to get his mother and grandmother back on speaking terms, reminding Janelle that Loris and Alwyn owed them and buying the house was the least they could do. Loris then admitted to Janelle that Alwyn had dumped her for another woman, and that Janelle had been right about Kim, he was a good-for-nothing man who couldn’t be relied on. Janelle then accepted the house, but drew the line at allowed her mother-in-law to move in. Desperate to find another reason to stay in town, Loris was interested to find out from Harold that Paul Robinson was selling a 40% share of Lassiter’s hotel in order to concentrate more time on his family. After convincing Paul that she was simply a naďve old woman with a lot of money, Loris bought the shares, then managed to get an extra 9% shares from The Johnson Group, leaving her and Paul as equal partners, with only a mysterious 2% shareholder between them.
After spending more time in Ramsay Street, Loris was alarmed to find out from Dylan that Bree’s new friend, Anne Baxter, was actually the girl who she’d been swapped with at the hospital. Loris was aghast, realising that her secret was close to being revealed after all these years. Loris then walked in on a Timmins family dinner, designed to welcome Anne to the brood, and started chatting to Anne about her family, trying to find out what sort of life she’d given to her real granddaughter. The meeting between Loris and Anne proved to be brief, as the next day, when Anne broke the news to her parents that she’d found the Timmins family, they packed their bags and whisked her away, desperate to keep the truth to themselves. And despite Loris’ help, Bree failed to track down Anne or her real parents and set about getting on with her life.
Following a trip to the races together, during which they didn’t have a single cross word, Janelle agreed to let Loris move into number 26 on a one-month trial basis. As well as allowing her to spend more time with Harold, who lived at number 24, this also brought Loris into more of the family dramas. When Dylan found out that he was not the father of the baby his fiancé Sky Mangel, Harold’s granddaughter, was carrying – but rather his brother, Stingray, was – Loris helped calm things down and, when Janelle threw Stingray out, Loris gave him a room at Lassiter’s to stay in. It was thanks to this that Loris saw his mini-bar bill and realised that he had an alcohol problem and so, after a chat, she offered to take him to an AA meeting, little realising that he ran off as soon as her back was turned. Meanwhile, when she found out that Dylan was planning to accept a job in Western Australia to get away from his problems, she convinced him to stay by giving him 9% of her Lassiter’s shares.
Loris’ love life, meanwhile, grew more complicated as she became jealous of Ned’s blossoming relationship with nurse Katya Kinski. Harold, however, was growing besotted with his new lady friend and plucked up the courage to ask her on a date to see the Eden Hills Operatic Society perform The Gondoliers. But, after managing to get Ned the job of Lassiter’s on-site personal trainer, Loris misread the signals with him and kissed him, witnessed by a stunned Harold. Although he felt like a fool, Loris explained to him that she’d been the foolish one, kissing Ned on the spur of the moment, and she and Harold agreed to make a fresh start with each other, going on a date and pretending that it was the first time they’d met. It was during this date that Loris received word that Alwyn wanted a divorce and Harold then opened up to her about his late wife, Madge. Things between Loris and Harold’s families when Sky gave birth and the baby went missing hours later, eventually found with Dylan, who had convinced himself that he was her real father. After a DNA test revealed this to be true, Loris’ emotions finally got the better of her and she admitted to Harold that she had swapped Bree and Anne. Although angry at first, Harold forgave Loris, who began to realise how hard Bree was finding things, having never met her birth parents. And so, after saying her farewells to Harold, Loris set off to track down the Baxters and, without telling them the real reason for her sudden departure or generosity, signed over her Lassiter’s shares to Janelle and the kids.
• Loris gave each of her grandchildren a similar nickname, which she always used when addressing them – Bunny (Janae), Bicky (Bree), Botty (Dylan) and Bony (Stingray)
Biography by Steve