The news of today was all about the fact that the remains, what there is of them, of Ned Kelly will be finally released to his family by the Victorian Attorney-General 130 years after his execution.
There has been a bit of an outcry about this, as some people (not his fans, obviously) are worried that his resting place will become a shrine glorifying him and his deeds. The crime he was executed for, after all, was killing police officers in a shootout.
In September I did a post titled ‘No rest for Ned’ when the bones of Ned were finally identified. In it I wrote about his crimes and why I believed that he should be buried with his family at Greta. The only problem with that is once the general population knows he is there it is unlikely that there will be any resting in peace for him. Just look at this article, the crowds were gathering in the streets and at the stations just to get a glimpse of him back in 1880, and his fame has not waned since then.
I was interested to hear a Kelly family member on the radio today. He was talking about the family having to get together and work out what to do with the remains. He was suggesting there would be a private family service and also a public memorial service. I think if I was family I would be just keeping it as a private event and not making a public show of it. There is no way the gravesite will not become a place of pilgrimage for those people who love the Ned Kelly folklore. Hoping that the place of burial will be a quiet and peaceful one after you had made a public show of its location is a little unrealistic.
What do you think should be done with Ned?