Vernon "Cookie" Locke
Cookie was shearer's cook who used to call in on his best friend Bob Hatfield when he was between jobs. He eventually ended up as the bartender/manager at the local RSL club in Wandin Valley. He was married to a woman named Dulcie for more than 20 years and was engaged to Esme Watson once (to prove that he wasn't gay). When Esme found out what a liar and cheat he was, she called it off. He had a sister, Coralie, whose husband (Cookie's "mongrel brother-in-law") was constantly screwing up and leaving her...she has at least three kids -- 2 sons (Vernon Jr. and another) and 1 daughter (Coralie Jr.).
Cookie was fond of placing bets (especially with Shorty Price) and drinking. He was constantly coming up with outrageous schemes to make money, usually involving something shady and/or stupid. His schemes almost always failed (and even when they succeeded, the best he could usually hope for was to break even). Bob always got dragged in on the plans. He ran a taxi service with Esme and ran Cookaburra Tours for a time. He was rarely seen without a hat. He was a legendary liar, telling people (among other things) that he had been a top jockey (when he could barely sit in the saddle) and that he'd been in New Guinea during the war. His lies usually conflicted with one another.
After Bob's wife died, Cookie moved in with him and they were together most of the time since then (though Cookie disappeared every now and then...usually when someone was chasing him). Cookie and Bob left the Valley in March 1992, to go to Darwin using Bob's retirement money (which Cookie managed to parlay into $125,000 at the races). They returned in April 1992 because Cookie was ill and homesick and Bob decided to buy the Magnoliavale Pub for them both to run. From that point on, they were often spoken of but rarely, if ever, seen.
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