Farewell to a favourite son

Caitlyn WattsPilbara News
Helmut Geisner at the Cossack Art Awards in 2019.
Camera IconHelmut Geisner at the Cossack Art Awards in 2019.

A farewell service will be held on Friday for a Pilbara stalwart who made a lasting impact on the community through his engineering and philanthropic work.

Helmut Geisner died on March 18 aged 64 after a long battle with cancer.

He first came to Dampier with Clough Engineering before establishing a business, Engineered Construction and Maintenance, in 2001. It still serves the marine industry today.

The father of two participated in some of the largest and most difficult Pilbara contracts, including salvaging iron ore carrier Hanjin Dampier, which ran aground in the Dampier shipping channel; and constructing the Karratha Back Beach boat ramp.

He also assisted with the retrieval and repatriation of prawn trawler The Returner, which sank in July 2015 about 20km off the coast of Karratha. He had been contacted by one of the families of the two young men, whose bodies were never recovered.

Mr Geisner was a strong community advocate who enjoyed helping others and spreading community spirit and often employed people in search of their big breaks in life.

In 2018, he paid for air-conditioning units for a young Karratha girl living with a rare medical condition. He also volunteered his services to Murujuga Aborigi-nal Corporation over the years.

Mr Geisner had a love of art and culture, and his was one of very few private businesses to sponsor the Cossack Art Awards — a gesture he was quietly proud of.

He was also a strong supporter and patron of the Hampton Harbour Boat and Sailing Club for more than 15 years, and his love of boating, fishing and camping never wavered.

His final dream was to create a rum distillery in Cossack, a town he had a great love for with its rich pearl history.

Although the distillery may not eventuate, the dream he affectionately called his “last hurrah” may in some way become a reality, with the rum made ready in a Perth distillery going to market next year.

Mr Geisner will be remembered at a service at the Dampier Yacht Club.

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