Rory Tolhurst (2006-2008)
Ed Wills (2006-2007), Jack Rickard (2007-2008)
Episodes: 4315 – 4375; 4463 – 4616
Nine year old Rory was first seen in Summer Bay when Sam introduced Rory to Jack at the hospital. The two of them got on like a house on fire and Sam was pleasantly surprised to see that her son had taken to a stranger so quickly. Jack wasn’t a stranger for too long though as he and Sam soon got together.
When Sam was looking for a place to stay after moving out of their old house due to the rent being too much to pay, Jack suggested they move in together. Rory was thrilled by the idea, but Sam wasn’t so sure. And while at the diner, Rory ran off! Shortly afterwards, Jack got a phone call from Lucas saying that Rory was back at their place. Rory had ran of because he was unhappy with his mum for not saying that her and Jack would move in together.
Having trained for the ‘Summer Bay Nippers’ Carnival’, Rory was very excited when the day of the race came. Jack came along just as Rory’s name was being called out, which made Rory upset. However, Jack talked to him and reassured him that he would always be there for him. Sam was upset too but after a few words from Jack, they worked things out. Sam said that she just wanted a normal happy family…but that wasn’t going to be the case. Not long afterwards, while on a picnic, Sam was kidnapped by Rusty, a friend of Shane’s. Nobody had told Rory what was going on, and when he overheard Tony talking about the police, he knew something was wrong. Wanting to find his mum, Rory ran for the door but was stopped by Tony, who explained that his mum would be fine and that she loved him very much.
After her ordeal with Rusty, Sam decided to leave the Bay as she thought it wasn’t fair on her and Rory. After tracking them down Jack got to say a proper goodbye to Sam and Rory.
Months later Rory returned to the Bay with Sam after she broke her ankle. Rory was thrilled to be back as he admitted he really missed living in Summer Bay.
When Jack was looking after Rory he took an urgent phone call which meant he had to leave Rory in a reluctant Martha’s care. Martha asked Rory to help Alf and the lifeguards outside the surf club but while organising the equipment he was bundled into the back of a van by a woman. We later found out that his Dad, Shane, had absconded from custody and the woman was his accomplice. The Police launched a frantic search for Rory and, during the high speed police chase which followed, Shane was killed. Rory was not with him so a further search was launched near the river. Fortunately Rory was found wet and exhausted but unharmed.
Following Shane’s death, the Prison Social Worker asked if Sam and Rory wanted Shane’s ashes. This led Rory to feel like he needs some way of saying goodbye to his father, so a memorial service was organised. After the service the Social Worker gave Rory a gift from his dad, a novel entitled “A Fortunate Life”. Shane had given the book to Sam when she was pregnant with Rory. After Sam headed home, Rory and Jack stayed to talk. Rory asked if it was wrong to not feel anything for his Dad, Jack said it was OK as he had not been there like a real Dad should. Rory told Jack that he was his Dad now.
Soon after Rory was in trouble at school for not participating in class. Rory explained that he had been unable to make friends due to moving from place to place. Sam insisted they were staying so he should try and fit in more. Soon after, the primary school decided that because Rory was an ‘advanced student’ he should be moved up to high school,
Rory was worried about starting at the high school and it seemed his fears were realised when a group of students tried to pick on him. However, Aden stuck up for him, pretending to be his friend but clearly wanting something in return. Aden said he would stick up for Rory if he helped him switch the ballot papers during the election to be head of the formal committee. Aden won but Cassie and Mattie figured out what had happened. Fisher then put Rory on detention. Rory told Jack, Sam and Dan that although he was being bullied, he didn’t want to go back to primary school as he was learning a lot at high school.
As Rory needed to make friends, Sam suggested that he should pair up with Annie on the school excursion. Rory wasn’t happy about hanging out with a girl but decided it wasn’t so bad after all. When he and Annie sneaked off during the trip, the bus left without them and Mr Fisher forgot to do a roll call. They called out to the bus but no one heard them. When they failed to appear at the school, Sam became really worried and a search party was organised. Rory and Annie decided to try and walk home and they eventually came across a car which fortunately turned out to be Cassie and Henk, which meant they were found safe and well.
When Jack and Sam decided to get married, Rory was over the moon and couldn’t contain his excitement. He told the whole diner about the engagement despite Sam and Jack wanting to keep it low key.
When Tam came to town she befriended Rory but was really trying to get information about Rachel. Jack was not keen on his choice of friend as it turned out she used Rory to steal from the house. Rory and Jack eventually found Tam and retrieved all the stolen items. As a way of bonding with his future step-son, Jack gave him his watch. However, the school bullies stole it from him, which left Rory very upset. Seeing how upset Rory was, Tam came up with a plan, to get the watch back, which was successful. Tam’s friendship with Rory continued but she began to lead him astray by encouraging him to ditch his friend and hang out with her instead. Rory got caught out by Jack who was still unhappy about his friendship with Tam.
When Jack was shot on duty, Rory was devastated. He really struggled when Jack was in a coma and felt rejected by his mother as all her attention was on Jack. He tried to help Sam but she snapped at him which caused Rory further upset. Soon after Jack woke up and their lives got back to normal. When Rory had an assignment to do for school about their hero, he decided to write about Jack. We later found out Rory got an A+ for the essay. Rory then stole Jack’s gun to show his friends at school. Encouraged by Ryan he played with the gun at the beach and nearly shot Lewis. When Sam and Jack found out, Rory was in big trouble but promised faithfully never to do it again.
Rory became upset when he overhead Martha tell Jack that he shouldn’t be marrying Sam. He was rude to Martha and told Sam what she said. Because of the tension between Sam and Jack, Rory decided to throw a rock through a car window to get arrested, He thought this would ensure that Jack went to the wedding rehearsal and would finally marry Sam. Fortunately things turned out OK for Rory and the wedding went ahead as planned. Looking smart in his suit, Rory looked very proud walking his mother down the aisle.
When Dan Baker died, led by Aden, Rory joined the other students on the beach for a memorial service. Rory gave an emotional speech saying how much everyone was going to miss Dan. When he returned to school Rory was caught by Mr Bartlett who pressured him into telling him where the rest of the students were. This caused the whole school to be put on detention and they turned on the ringleader Aden. Rory joined in my making a comment about Aden being like his grandfather. This caused Aden to try and attack Rory. Luckily Geoff came by and stopped Aden before he did any damage.
After Sam killed Johnny Cooper, she became irritable and took it out on Rory. Sam later apologised for the way she had been treating Rory. Later when Rory returned from the movies with Jack, they discovered a badly beaten Sam unconscious in the hallway. Rory was shocked by the situation but Jack told him that he had to be strong for Sam.
When the truth about the murder of Johnny came out, Sam took Rory to visit her sister. Rory really didn’t want to go but Sam eventually talked him around and they left for the city. Not long after Sam was found dead, Rory blamed Jack for what happened. Before Sam died she tried to get Jazz to bring her money. She told Jazz that she wanted to run away with Rory but, because Jazz didn’t like the thought of Rory being on the run again, she refused to give Sam the money.
As Jack and Martha were under suspicion for Sam murder, Morag took Geoff to the city to try and get Rory to tell the truth about what happened the last time he saw his mother. Geoff went to the house to see Rory and Morag stayed outside in the car. When Geoff returned he told Morag that Rory did see Sam before she died but he refused to run away with her. It appeared that when Rory rejected Sam for the final time she decided to end her own life.
Rory never returned to the Bay and stayed in the city with his Aunt Britt. Britt then told Jack that Rory didn’t want him to go to Sam’s funeral.