Rayner Hoff was born on the Isle of Mann, the son of a stonemason and wood carver. He studied at the Nottingham School of Art before serving with the British Army on the Western front during WW1. After the war he attended the Royal College of Art in London and won numerous awards including the British Prix de Rome.
He moved to Australia when he was 28 becoming head teacher of modelling and sculpture at East Sydney Technical College. He became known as the leading Australian sculptor of his day.
Charles Bruce Dellit was born in Darlington, Sydney, the son of a furniture manufacturer. Dellit trained as an architect and designed a number of city buildings, pioneering the Art Deco style in Australia. In 1929 his design for the ANZAC War Memorial in Hyde Park, Sydney, was chosen from 117 entries.
It was a project that would bring together these two very different but equally talented men to create what is thought to be the finest example of Art Deco in Australia.
Dellit based his design on three words, Endurance, Courage and Sacrifice and each one is beautifully interwoven through every detail of the magnificent structure.
As I look down the trajectory of my life I remember the encouragers who’ve spurred me on to do things I wouldn’t have ever imagined I could do. Those who’ve challenged me to see things differently or to face the things in my life that needed to change … those who did it gently and with great love and those courageous enough to be brutally honest.
There’ve been those who’ve collaborated and together we’ve achieved what would never have been possible alone; like Dellit and Hoff, our blended talents and combined thinking have achieved great things.
The ANZAC Memorial is much more to me than a great piece of architecture or a monument to those who sacrificed their life, it's a reminder of the important things in life, loyalty, respect, mateship, sacrifice and honour, things that seem to be frequently missing in the world today.
We seem surrounded on all sides with hatred, bitterness, divisiveness, greed, hunger for power and lack of respect, all the things that brought about the wars which ravaged our world. The peace and freedom for which so many laid down their lives feels so fragile in the light of the persecution being experienced throughout the world at the moment. How quickly we forget.