March 10th 1999

Smith Sculptors Presentation to Rotary Club of Geraldton with credentials and past work.

We attended The Rotary Club of Geraldton Dinner-meeting at the Geraldton Entertainment Centre and gave a video presentation to the assembled members about who we are and what previous projects of a similar nature – memorials we had produced. There was a very good response and afterwards we had discussions with Jim Patterson, Kevin Green about the history behind the Loss of The HMAS Sydney II. They also told us about the previous year’s service for the HMAS Sydney on Mt Scott when a ‘ flock of sea gulls flew over the crowd ‘ during the Dedication Ceremony of the site.

re: The Concept behind The Dome of Souls

We must add that at no point did anyone from Rotary suggest we design an element of the Memorial based on the seagulls. It was during our return journey from Geraldton the next day that the idea occurred to us to make something really powerful out of this occurrence. In fact, The former president of The Rotary Club of Geraldton, Mr Richard Lierrera, suggested to us at this meeting that in his opinion, The Memorial should be based on a group of gunners on board the HMAS Sydney in Naval practice. His basic idea was to create a large bronze rendition based on a photograph supplied to us by him to us subsequently…/ find out more

Following is our Diary Entry of that meeting.

Diary Entry after meeting

‘ Quite an evening as we present our video and make joint speech presentation to the people of Rotary in Geraldton – which they are and very enthusiastic about their Memorial to the Sydney which is a great honour to design – but onerous task! We are so struck by the tale of dedication of the flag pole and site as it seems that just as the sun was setting and Last Post being played – a flight of ‘ seagulls ‘ rose up from – nowhere ? and flew into the setting sun and the Indian Ocean where 645 men of the Sydney lie! I could feel shivers up my spine – felt really strange and very very much overwhelmed by the emotion of the whole tragedy : The stories of families ‘ who still wait to find the ship ‘ and some real explanation of what happened: What a wonderful thing it would be to make something beautiful and peaceful that would help to lay to rest the young men who left behind such loss and pain….. Seagulls must feature and the Mother/wife/sister.