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
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
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
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
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
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
If you have any questions,
queries, feel free to email
Left: Me holding
Ned Kelly's pistol he was captured with at Glenrowan in June 1880
DINNER, GLENROWAN 28TH JUNE 2002.
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
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
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......
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!
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
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.
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.
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 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
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 ... "
like that inspired me to keep going. Dave and Nicky also have there
own Kelly website at www.bailup.com
have a look!
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.