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Bali News

Hope Fades for Brent Hesselyn

Charismatic Bali Businessman, Now Missing for More Than 7 Days, Feared Dead.


Bali News: Hope Fades for Brent Hesselyn
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(9/8/2002)

Brent Hesselyn the popular and very well-known co-founder of the Jenggala Ceramic Industry in Bali's Jimbaran district, has now been missing for more than 7 days following his disappearance on a diving trip to nearby Nusa Lembongan island on Sunday, September 1, 2002. An entire week of search efforts by local fishermen, yachtsmen, tourism operators, and aircraft have failed to find a trace of Mr. Hesselyn, presumed to have been swept away by the strong currents present in the area in which he was last seen by his diving companion. That the experienced sportsman was wearing a wet suit and an inflation device had buoyed initial hopes that he might be found alive, adrift at sea or castaway on a nearby beach.

However, a full week later and after the expenditure of thousand of dollars by friends and family to support the search effort, hopes that any trace of the missing businessman will be found, alive or dead, are becoming increasingly remote.

Brent Hesselyn, aged 50, first came to Bali in 1976 where, in cooperation with Bali hotelier Wija Waworuntu and his daughter, Ade established a simple pottery and ceramic's factory in beachside huts in the BatuJimbar area of Sanur Beach. In the intervening years, the Jenggala line of ceramics acquired an international fame, with island visitors and hotels around the world placing orders for the distinctive and stylish table settings and accessories. The success of the operation combined with long waiting lists for new orders prompted the Jenggala operation to move to a large, state-of-the-art factory and showroom in the Jimbaran area where hundreds of skilled Indonesian workers now report to work each day.

Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, Brent Hesselyn studied fine arts at Canterbury University, further developing an early interest in ceramics evidenced by the opening of his first pottery workshop near Greymouth, at the age of 16. Prior to moving to Bali in 1976, he worked for two years at the Sydney Opera House.

Mr. Hesselyn's keen interest in Indonesian painting, sculpture, and the lively arts are reflected in the unique table settings and ceramic pieces produced by the Jenggala factory.

In addition to a keen interest in the conservation and promotion of the Balinese arts, Mr. Hesselyn is also an active participant in several local food and culinary societies.

In lieu of a formal announcement by the family acknowledging his demise, no announcement has been made regarding a memorial service for the much-loved and, now, sorely-missed Brent Hesselyn.


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