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Australian Son the story of Ned Kelly by Max Brown
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Alan Crichton
Alan Crichton likes to write, just take a look at our Feedback and Book section. So seeing Alan's got so much to say IronOutlaw.com decided to give him his own section. While I'm sure he'll continue to fill up our feedback pages he's now got somewhere else to bluff and bluster, namely right here at 'Keep Ya Powder Dry'.

Ettie in Eldorado

There was movement at Eldorado, for the word had passed around, that Paul O’Keefe was coming to their town. What he was bringing was worth more than a thousand pounds; he was bringing with him a story of a love, a love between his Great, Great, Grandmother Esther Hart, and a man we all should know ... Edward 'Ned' Kelly. On Friday the 8th of August 2014, the good folk of Eldorado opened not only their doors but their hearts to more than one hundred and twenty visitors from across Australia who had gathered at the Memorial Hall to listen to Paul’s fascinating story.

The Girl Who Loved Ned Kelly

Paul O'KeefeIt was 5pm when my good wife returned from her place of employment to find me waiting impatiently at our letterbox and pointing frantically at my watch. I had spoken to Mr O’Keefe earlier in the day and was concerned I would be late for his presentation starting at 6pm that evening in Eldorado. Being a true Kelly sympathiser, he offered to hold off his talk for a few minutes until we arrived. I was touched by his generosity but didn’t believe a word of it. Before my good wife could pull into the driveway I had jumped into the passenger seat and was pointing the way to Eldorado. Not having time to refresh herself or even to relieve herself, the trip along the Hume freeway was, might I suggest, a rather chilly one.

At 5.47 we reached the Eldorado turnoff and disappeared into the pitch black countryside. I had only been to Eldorado once during the light of day to visit my gammy legged Nedite mate Trent Cupid, but at night the surrounds seemed so indistinguishable. It was lucky for us that my memory is that of a GPS and in no time at all I could see the lights of Eldorado illuminating the far horizon. On finally entering the town I pointed out Trent’s house and directed my good wife to the memorial hall which for some unknown reason was no longer where I thought it was along with the museum and McEvoy Tavern. It wasn’t until driving further along the main road that the memorial hall came to sight along with Trent’s second house which seemed identical to the first house I identified. My good wife called me names with adjectives I had never heard before followed by a noun I have heard many times before ... 'idiot'. I tried explaining that I had simply found another road into the town that had not yet been discovered. Not content with my reasoning and wanting to make straight for the McEvoy Tavern for food and alcohol, I convinced my good wife we were running late and would miss out on a good seat for Mr O’Keefe’s presentation. On entering the hall we were greeted by the creator of this great event, Trent Cupid and organiser Sue Phillips. A donation was all that was asked for entry and all money raised going to the Eldorado Museum.

Within five minutes of us entering the hall it was filled to capacity. It just goes to show you how this love story appeals to and has moved so many people. I must admit, Paul’s first presentation on Ettie’s story in 2011 at the Nicholas in Beechworth was fantastic, but I did not realise Paul had researched and included so much more new information in his latest presentation. His voice shows not only passion for this story, but bellows pride for his family and its heritage.

The visual aspect was outstanding with the screen filled constantly with family photographs, old newspaper clippings during the Kelly outbreak cut out by Esther herself, poetry, pressed flowers, and so much more, all from Esther’s personal scrapbook. I believe this scrapbook was meant to be found by her family and used as a voice from the grave for this very private lady, this love of Ned Kelly’s.

I’m sure this is just the beginning of Ettie’s story. Who knows what the future will unfold, we can only wait and see. It was great to catch up with some dear friends I have not seen in quite a while and some I may have missed e.g. that ol' sherry snorter, but I know he was there somewhere. After congratulating Paul on his fine presentation, I was hurried off by my starving wife to the CFA’s BBQ restaurant that was cooking up a storm at the side of the hall. The boys were flat out keeping up with the hungry patrons and did a marvellous job. From what I have heard, the CFA raised a couple of hundred dollars in the process. Great work boys!

There was one more place we needed to visit and that being the Eldorado Museum. The museum volunteers had kept the museum open for this great event and it was something not to be missed. I was totally blown away with the number of exhibits this impressive museum had to offer. The history of Eldorado seemed to be laid out before our eyes. Nineteenth century mining and blacksmith equipment, clothing, children’s toys, books, photos, and the list goes on. I tips me lid to Sue Phillips and all the other museum volunteers for such an outstanding effort.

The Eldorado Museum have a top website and their museum is a must see. I must also mention that Paul O’Keefe’s, The Girl Who Loved Ned Kelly presentation, and all money raised, was donated to the Eldorado Museum. Paul had travelled all the way from his home in Summer Bay to offer his services free of charge for this great cause. We’re all proud to call you a mate Paul. The same applies to that young Nedite local, Trent Cupid. I believe Trent was responsible for creating this top event, and through his Ned Kelly Forum, Brad Webb’s Australian Ironoutlaw, and the Eldorado Museum, the word was well and truly put out there. From what I have been told, the event raised nearly seven hundred dollars for the Eldorado Museum. Great work to all.

All that was left to do now was to finish a top evening off with a couple of cold beers at the McEvoy Tavern, and hopingly, a much warmer trip home.

P.S. I hope Mr Webb doesn’t mind me using some of his photos. I started taking photos of the evening with my trusty box brownie but on seeing Mr Webb prancing around like Lord Snowdon with his million dollar camera, I quickly shoved my little camera back in my pocket. What a bloody show off! Hey, I bought that camera from the royalties from your book sales so you can lend it anytime you like as long at it's between 11.59pm and midnight...

ETTIE IN ELDORADO
Keep Ya Powder Dry BEECHWORTH NED KELLY WEEKEND 2012
Keep Ya Powder Dry KELLY'S DEFENCE BY A LADY
Keep Ya Powder Dry BEECHWORTH NED KELLY WEEKEND 2011
Keep Ya Powder Dry A LETTER TO THOMAS
Keep Ya Powder Dry JOHN KELLY REAL ESTATE
Keep Ya Powder Dry THE FITZPATRICK CONSPIRACY
Keep Ya Powder Dry BEECHWORTH NED KELLY WEEKEND 2010
Keep Ya Powder Dry A NIGHTMARE ON SIEGE STREET
Keep Ya Powder Dry A PRODUCT OF THEIR TIME?
Keep Ya Powder Dry BEECHWORTH NED KELLY WEEKEND 2009
Keep Ya Powder Dry GLENROWAN DINNER SIEGED ONCE MORE
Keep Ya Powder Dry MY VISIT TO THE ASYLUM
Keep Ya Powder Dry HOME ON THE RANGE
Keep Ya Powder Dry KELLY COUNTRY HERE I COME!
Keep Ya Powder Dry CHRISTMAS FROM THE DUNGEON
Keep Ya Powder Dry A HERITAGE DISGRACE
Keep Ya Powder Dry SIEGE SITE SIEGED ONCE AGAIN
Keep Ya Powder Dry BETTER READ THAN DEAD. WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP!
Keep Ya Powder Dry SELL-MORE DEVELOPMENT
Keep Ya Powder Dry BONES, BOOTS AND BULLDUST
Keep Ya Powder Dry BEECHWORTH NED KELLY WEEKEND 2008
Keep Ya Powder Dry MY STAY AT THE GLENROWAN INN
Keep Ya Powder Dry NED'S HEAD READ
Keep Ya Powder Dry NED KELLY'S LOST BIRTHDAY
Keep Ya Powder Dry WHY DIG UP THE PAST?
Keep Ya Powder Dry
TALKING SENSE
While not everyone wants to read about Ned Kelly or the ANZACs or even The Great Depression, we hope they want to learn something about Australian History. From the ex-Prime Minister John Howard to a confused ex-NSW Education Minister Carmel Tebbutt (see the ex-pattern here?) a number of politicians have jumped on the teaching history bandwagon. But at what cost? From Right Wing Liberals to the multitude of State Governments, seems everyone has an agenda. We'd like to let the readers decide what is worth learning. Here at IronOutlaw.com we present the facts, the fiction and everything in between. It all adds to the experience and hopefully makes History an exciting place to be while also proving it needn't always have to be written by the victors.
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Ned Kelly: A Pictorial History available on the iPad App Store
SHOPPING
If you're looking for that perfect gift then head over to our shop where we are featuring Max Brown's 312 page hardcover limited edition novel Australian Son: the story of Ned Kelly for $34.95 with free Australia wide postage (or $14.95 international postage). All of Max's books come with a bonus Australian Son bookmark. These books are only available for purchase online (and not through book shops). Of course the money we raise goes back in to building the world's greatest Ned Kelly web site.

Australian Son by Max Brown

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Ellen: a woman of spirit
Chapters 1, 2 and 3
Australian Son
Chapters One and Two
Kelly Gang Round-Up
Bracken Chapter
Ned: the Exhibition
Chapters 1, 2 and 3
 
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