" The reason Joe is my favorite over Ned, Dan and Steve is because of his loyalty to Ned, he was so loyal to Ned, he claimed after Aaron was told by Joe to tell Nicholson, that rather than give himself up, and escape the death penalty, " I would die at Ned's side first ". Now that coming from a man, who was reported around the Woolshed where Joe and Aaron grew up, that he was a quiet and likable lad, completely amazes me "

I HAVE BEEN ATTACKED by leaches at Stringybark creek, and I have caught some of the most nastiest colds and flu's walking around the Glenrowan siege site at early hours.

Yes I have done it all ! I have tried to find all the Kelly sites, some with success, others without, but my favorite gang member was of course Ned Kelly. Until, one day I thought of Joe and how quiet his story is; nobody seems to really know about him. When I attended the commemorative dinner at Glenrowan, to celebrate the anniversary of the siege at Glenrowan, Joe's armour was the main feature, Seeing his armour close made it the last straw; I now decided to do a Joe Byrne site.

Right: Me Ned Kelly's Child hood home at Beveridge 2001.

One a visit to Benalla on June 30th 2002 ( Joe's burial date ) I walked into a Benalla flower store, I looked at the flowers, and eventually picked up a huge box of mixed flowers including Iris.

As I waltzed up to the counter, the chap behind it, smiled and said " For someone special? " I replied " Very special " he said " Well, for being such a love bird, you can have a discount. What's the lucky girls name? " I shook my head. " Mate, it's not for a girl " I said, he looked at me queer, " No!" I said quickly, I knew what he was thinking, I said, " It's for Joe Byrne, ya know, the Kelly gang member? " his face turned from smiley bliss, to evil death look. He never gave me that discount, wonder why?

One cold frosty night I sat by Joe's grave for a length of time, and for some reason I wasn't frightened, usually in cemeteries I was be nervous and leave, but next to Joe I wasn't. Call, me crazy, but it's the honest truth.

The reason Joe is my favorite over Ned, Dan and Steve is because of his loyalty to Ned, he was so loyal to Ned, he claimed after Aaron was told by Joe to tell Nicholson, that rather than give himself up, and escape the death penalty, "..I would die at Ned's side first..." Now that coming from a man, who was reported around the Woolshed where Joe and Aaron grew up, that he was a quiet and likable lad, completely amazes me.

Right: Me in the interior of the poplice caves used to spy on the Byrne Homestead.

As Joe's death at Glenrowan was well recorded by James and Kate Reardon, Dan and Steve's was more preserved. Ned's was the best recorded.

Now the good part, How, when and why I got interested into the Kelly saga.

At an age of 9, my step father, Gary Boness, my mother Lynne and myself, drove through a township, which in turn was noted for " The scene of the Kelly siege " I was enthralled, as we drove through this quiet beautiful hamlet, I finally persuaded my mother to stop the car for a look around town, as I stepped into Kates Cottage, I heard a lot of the word " Kelly " I had to know who this was. I purchased my first Kelly book, "Ned Kelly: The Larrikan Years " by Graham Jones.

As we were leaving town, my mum said we should stay the night, I was over the moon. We stayed at the local caravan park, and that night went to Bob Hempel's, Anamatronic semi - live show, which at an age of nine for anyone who has ever been in the show would know is very exiting I learnt of Aaron Sherritt who at that time I was under the understanding he was a traitor.

Right: The cover of, ' Tourist News ' 2001.

The show introduced me to the Kelly gang, at the end of the show, I was all exited of how, I was going to learn all about the Kelly gang, and in my own words " I will write a book about them " I remember this well because I remember my dad saying that I was going to lose interest one day. I didn't listen.

On our return to our caravan, mum and Gary virtually went straight to bed, I sat up and read this story of Australia's most unique figures, and before I knew it, I had read half of the book. At the age of nine, I had read the most amazing story in my whole life.

I was over wellmed and next morning I was first up, and began hoeing into my new book again and had finished it before every one was up. I know knew the Kelly story better than any other nine year old. That book lead me to my life as it is know, and as I think back, if I hadn't picked up that book that day, I wouldn't be who I am today.

That day and night in Kelly Country had effected me forever, and pushed me from boy hood into the world of the Kelly gang. As I grew older and older trips into Kelly Country became frequent, my life was taking shape. I remember many of these trips, and the excitement before getting there, was un bearable.

At 14 my life was there in front of me I had to just take it, and that I have, and are pursuing the Kelly gang, Meeting Matt and Brendan, introducing me to Ian Jones, noted Kelly Authorian, Ned: the exhibition, and the mates I have gained over the years has been un - real, an after returning from that trip, on the day of school, I had drifted from my child hood friends and pulled into the new world.

High school became another hard factor, my mates would want me to come out after school, I have no time, I am always reading the Kelly books or updating this webpage. My life will continue to be the Kelly gang way it is now.

If you have any questions, queries, feel free to email me.

Left: Me holding Ned Kelly's pistol he was captured with at Glenrowan in June 1880

 

THE CENTENARY DINNER, GLENROWAN 28TH JUNE 2002.

The Kelly gang centenary dinner, to commemorate the siege at Glenrowan 122 years previous. I attended this dinner which I must say was very good, I will guide you through the events which took place at this very special event.

At 7pm I arrived at the door, waiting there, it was a cool night but the " Melbournians " felt the cold more than I did, as we ( Rod and Chris Gerrett & Myself ) eventually we were all shuffled in through the door, and we yacking in each others ear for the passing of the next few minutes, me and Ian Jones had a quick chat, then the main event of the evening had arrived on horse back, Joe's Armour was been ridden into the famous battle site of the police and the gang, I thought I seen a few tears roll down some eyes and I had withdraw the handkerchief once or twice during the night. As the armour was carefully taken from the horse, it was walked through the mounting crowd, and was set up inside, the excitement of getting into the next room was un bearable, eventually we moved onto into the next room, we were seated, and all began talking.

Right: Joe's armour at the Kelly commemorative dinner 2002

All focus was on the armour, everyone seemed to be hovering around it, I waited until everyone cleared, and I got my look, and I was moved inside, I took notes in my mind of how it looked, and eventually, I sat down and waited for the tucker.

But I couldn't keep still in my seat; I wanted to touch the armour, but I must admit, the security guards there did do a good job. One bloke got a " Feel " of the outlaw armour, but was quickly, " Sent in right path " if you get my drift......

Along came the food; but I wasn't too concerned about filling my stomach, I still wanted too touch that armour, as I glared at it from my seat, I couldn't believe it was actually here, at the famous siege site, were I thought it would never return.

A few speeches were made, funding for the Kelly Tourism in Glenrowan, and, also that this event will be a yearly event, which is great news, Joe Online will keep you posted when the next one is almost looming.

I walked outside to view the peaceful and my personal favorite site of the Kelly gang. More speeches came, and then, Ian Jones took the microphone and blasted us with his Kelly expertise, remember I said I had to withdraw my handkerchief?........

His speech was amazing, moving and spectacular, I recorded his speech on my hand held recorded, and listen to it very often. Some of the highlight's were:

" Ned Kelly all but un conscious from loss of blood, attacked 34 heavily armed police, and tried to drive the away from the side of the Inn "

I was moved, after Ian's talk, Ashley Davies lit us up in lights with his new Ned Kelly cd, and the Last Stand track, also made me withdraw the Handkerchief again. The last stand moved me again, and it was so good, being at the siege site listening to the sounds of the Last Stand. I felt for Joe then......

As the night rolled on, the music from the sheds filled the coldness of the Kelly Country breeze, and me and Ian began to talk about the site of Ned's capture. Eventually, the night had ended, I watched as the armour was packed away, and we were off talking we were the last to leave, and, enjoying the night thoroughly, I went around the siege site for my last look until next morning, and eventually headed home, enjoying myself to the fullest! I highly recommend anyone who wishes to go you will not regret it!

THANKS FROM JOE ONLINE.

I have had a lot of help and support in the creation of this website, many people have helped me immensely, if you think your name deserves to be here email me

MARK PERRY

For all his support knowledge, and just being the best mate of mine that he is, he is one good fella, Mark, manages to scratch his Kelly knowledge into text on my other Kelly site Kellyoutbreak. Mark, I can't express how much you have helped, backed me, and plainly always been there for when I needed him most.

Right: My closest mate Mark Perry.

MATT SHORE AND BRENDAN PEARSE

With these two where do I start? Matt and Brendan have basically become brothers to me, and Mark included we have in my eyes became a small family, I care for them as much as I would my own brother, and the so many things they have down, put themselves in difficult positions, to help me. They have bent over backwards to help me, and I can not be appreciative.

ROD AND CHRIS GERRETT

As above I was talking about our " Family " Me, Matt, Mark & Brendan, are the children, well Rod and Chris are the parents! Rod and Chris run the Excellent and may I say the Best Kelly store in the world, by the name of Kates Cottage, they sell everything Kelly gang. They have been so supportive, allowing me to help in their Museum, Has privileged me a lot.

DAVE COBAIN

Dave another avid Kelly sympathizer, has given me help, support and everything I asked him. His " going out of the way " help, was just so vital to the creation of this website, we speak to each other on a regular basis, and are close buddies. Dave has his own Kelly website: nedkelly.cjb.net

DAVE WHITE AND NICKY COWIE.

Dave and Nicky have supported me from the time I mentioned my Joe site to them. They have given me graphics, and there excellent support and may I add, their encouraging emails to keep me on the ball, for example:

" .... You will rival Jones one day ... "

Things like that inspired me to keep going. Dave and Nicky also have there own Kelly website at www.bailup.com have a look!

ASHLEY DAVIES

Good ol' Ashley, we had a remarkable talk at the Centenary dinner at Glenrowan to commemorate the siege 122 nd anniversary. We spoke for a length and shared equal views, and Ashley was surprised to see that my favorite was Joe. Ash inspired me that night. Ashley performed the Wonderful NED KELLY cd, which has the most remarkable songs, and are very emotional. Ashley's Ned Kelly songs will be performed live soon, Joe Online will keep you posted.

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