"The bushranging saga" Euroa Favorite Tip by iandsmith

Euroa General: 2 reviews and 5 photos

  Stylised portrait of Ned at the Benalla Museum
by iandsmith

Favorite thing: Australia's best-known figure from early times is bushranger Ned Kelly who has strong associations with the town and with this part of Victoria. After two prison sentences and a series of brushes with the law the 22-year-old Ned and his younger brother Dan went into hiding in the Wombat Ranges to the south-east of Euroa in 1878 where Ned killed three constables during a confrontation.
In December, Steve Hart was sent into Euroa to ascertain the whereabouts of key buildings. On December 9, the gang took over the Faithful Creek sheep station, 7.5 km from Euroa, using it as a base while they prepared for their first bank robbery. 22 people were locked in a storeroom which Byrne was left to guard. After cutting the telegraph lines, the Kelly brothers and Steve Hart proceeded to Euroa where, just on closing time, they stuck up the National Bank which was located at the corner of Binney and Railway Sts, unfortunately demolished in 1975.
They stole 2000 pounds in cash and gold and then took the bank manager, his mother, wife and seven children, two servants and two tellers to Faithful Creek station where they held them until late in the evening. They were gentlemanly and polite with their 'guests' and entertained them with trick riding. Ned spoke at length by way of explaining his actions and grievances and he handed over a lengthy document which did the same. It was to be mailed to politician Donald Cameron whom they hoped would put their case before parliament. He decided against that action.
At eight o'clock in the evening Ned declared that nobody was to leave for three hours after the gang's departure, on pain of death, then they rode off into the Strathbogie mountains.
When one of the captives returned to Euroa he was thought to be joking until the bank was checked and it was found that the doors and safe were open and nobody there. The next morning a number of police and black trackers arrived from Benalla by train. They were followed by a contingent of militia who patrolled the streets for 2 months for fear of a return though they were drunken and troublesome. Detective Ward appeared periodically unconvincingly disguised in various garbs and guises.

Fondest memory: As a result of the Euroa robbery the reward was doubled and the gang's run was eventually terminated at Glenrowan in June 1880.
Ned Kelly has become inextricably associated with aspects of Australia's national mythology and is a potent symbol of Australian larrikinism and a widely felt disrespect for authority and scepticism about the function of the law. Clive Turnbull has observed: 'Ned Kelly is the best known Australian, our only folk hero...Popular instinct has found in Kelly a type of manliness much to be esteemed - to reiterate: courage, resolution, independence, sympathy with the under-dog '; hence the saying 'as game as Ned Kelly'.
His story has been converted into numerous tales and folk songs and was committed to film as early as 1906. Noted Australian painter Sidney Nolan also executed a distinguished series of works focusing on Kelly in the 1940s and 1950s.
However, you have to also consider that he shot people in cold blood and chose a lifestyle that was only going to end one way - such is life!

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  • Written Oct 21, 2011
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