THE bushranger would hardly recognise the world he was buried in, 132 years after he lived and died.
The heavy hearse that carried his bones and the tiny cameras that quietly snapped at his coffin yesterday were so many generations removed from the hard, short life Edward “Ned” Kelly.
But if you closed your eyes against the hot morning glare at the Greta cemetery it was perhaps possible to inch a closer to a burial Ned would have imagined.
You could hear the cockatoos squawking loudly in the gum trees and the harsh summer sun stung the skin as a lone piper filled the air with Irish folk tune The Sweet By-and-By.
It was the song Ned sang in his cell on the night before he died and the last song played at his funeral.
This piece of Australia, Ned would have known and loved, said Monsignor John White, who presided over the funeral.
Marching slowly behind the hearse and the bagpiper came about 200 family members — children, parents and elders — who filed into a marquee carefully screening the dusty burial plot.
The family got their wish for a private funeral.
After Ned’s coffin was eased out of the hearse the entrance of the large white tent was closed and that brought an end to this public chapter in a old Australian story.
Monsignor White talked about Ned’s love of his family and his “certain immortality” in Australian folk law.
“May his memory remain ever green among the descendents of his siblings,” he said.
“May he rest in peace.”