Leone Cosens death
Boxing Day tsunami
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Leone Cosens 1953 - 2004
We were so glad to have been a part of your beautiful life - from your friends in Australia.
Here are some links to Leone's animal welfare organisations for which she worked for.
SOI Dog Foundation
The Phuket Animal Support Group Thailand
Images of Leone

Thankyou: Phuket Gazette
Tuesday, December 28, 204
Nai Harn loses a great friend
Leone Cosens (2nd from left) lost her life while trying to warn other people at Yanui Beach to evacuate.#

PHUKET: Phuket, and the Rawai community in particular, lost one of its most dedicated and lovely people to Boxing Day tsunami. Leone Cosens, wife of Tim and friend to many, moved to Phuket from New Zealand some 11 years ago and quickly helped establish the Phuket Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), which, along with other organizations, has helped care for, sterilize, and therefore reduce Phuket’s stray dog population.

Leone worked with her Thai helpers selflessly, tirelessly, and very often at her own expense, to help strays in the south of the island, and around Nai Harn Beach in particular.

Leone and her husband Tim worked hard in recent years, creating a beach paradise at Yanui Beach, near Laem Phromthep. It was there that she went to respond to a call for help from some guests staying there. It appears she was swept away by the strongest wave that demolished everything on and around the small, popular beach.

Leone, like so many casualties that day, shad no chance of escape. Her friends and relatives can only be thankful that her end would have been swift. She will be deeply missed – and her fellow dog-carers will endeavor to continue her excellent work.

Friends can pay their respects to Leone at Rawai temple, where her body will be kept until her funeral at noon on Friday.

Thankyou: Scoop New Zealand news
Death in Phuket: Mrs Leone Cosens
Tuesday, 28 December 2004, 10:28 am
Press Release: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Death in Phuket: Mrs Leone Cosens The family of the New Zealand woman killed in the Phuket area of Thailand during yesterday's tsunami has authorised us to confirm her name.

She was MRS LEONE COSENS, formerly of Paraparaumu. Mrs Cosens had lived in Thailand for some 12 years.   Her family has told us they would prefer not to speak to the media and have asked that journalists respect their right to grieve privately.

Thankyou: Talk About Network
Thai king to honour Kiwi tsunami victim
31 December 2004

New Zealander Leone Cosens will be honoured by the King of Thailand in a special ceremony in Bangkok tomorrow.

Mrs Cosens, who died in the Asian tsunamis on Sunday, will be cremated today in a service at her favourite temple, Rawai Wat in Phuket, attended by her sisters Claire Gurunathan, of Paraparaumu, and Gill Thomas, of Christchurch.

Her ashes will be scattered in her garden in Phuket, where she has lived for 12 years, and on the Kapiti Coast.

The animal welfare advocate had been due to arrive in New Zealand on December 15 to spend Christmas with her sisters but cancelled at the last minute so she could look after her American husband Tim, who had recently had a stroke.

A Christian service will be held for Mrs Cosens after the traditional Buddhist ceremony.

Her contribution to animal refuge has been recognised by King Bhumibol Adulyadej and she will be remembered by him during a service in his private chapel in Bangkok tomorrow.

Her sisters have maintained a vigil beside her body since they arrived in Phuket on Wednesday.

"We are overwhelmed by the impact she's had on people here," Ms Thomas, said. "She's touched so many hearts."

Last night her brother-in-law, Gurunathan Krisnasamy, of Paraparaumu, said the family were alerted to Sunday's unfolding tragedy when a friend called telling them to turn on the news. "Then Leone's husband called to tell us she was missing."

A friend put Mr Cosens - incapacitated by his stroke - in a wheelchair and carried him to the area where she was last seen.

It is believed Mrs Cosens, who rented out a beachfront bungalow that featured in the hit movie The Beach, had gone to help the pregnant woman staying there, after the house was flooded when the first wave hit. The later appearance of her dog, which never left her side, gave the family a brief glimmer of hope that she had survived, but soon afterward her husband found her body in scrub 200 metres from the shore, Mr Krisnasamy said.

"The news was just devastating. We had all talked to her on Christmas day and she'd sent over lots of presents."

She had sent her sister Claire - his wife - a mini electric fan and told her she never knew when she might need it. She took it with her when she left for Phuket on Tuesday.

The sisters were extremely close and kept in regular contact.

A service will be held for Mrs Cosens in Paraparaumu next week.

Meanwhile, an air force plane carrying an 11-member disaster victim identification team left Whenuapai yesterday. It was expected to arrive in Phuket today.

Also on board was an emergency response team including police, Defence Force and Foreign Affairs Ministry officials.

The team would back up police and embassy staff already in Phuket working to identify bodies, find missing Kiwis and assist people who had lost passports.

Thankyou: Reezy Miller and New Zealand Herald
January 1, 2005
The dog biscuits scattered about the Thai temple marked the memory of Leone Cosens at her funeral at Phuket Rawai Beach yesterday. Mrs Cosens was New Zealand's first and so far only officially recognised death in Sunday's tsunami.
The native of Kapiti Coast, who had been based in Phuket for 12 years, was cremated after a mixed Buddhist and Christian ceremony. About 150 mourners, some bearing injuries from the tidal wave, heard of her long dedication to Phuket's stray dog population. Outside the temple, dogs sat behind mourners, attracted by the biscuits laid out for them.
One of Mrs Cosens' sisters, Gill Thomas, told of the Soi Dog organisation, an animal welfare charity created by her sister's efforts. Ten monks in saffron robes chanted as husband Tim Cosens sobbed. Mr Cosens was in a wheelchair, after being stricken by a stroke two months ago which him partially paralysed.
After a short service Mrs Cosens' body was carried into the neighbouring crematorium, where friends filed past in a final farewell. Her sisters, Ms Thomas and Claire Gurunaphan, with Mr Cosens, saw the coffin into the flames.

Thankyou: SOI Dogs
January 2, 2005 Leone’s Buddhist-Christian cremation ceremony on the 31st was very special and moving. The number of people participating in saying good-bye to Leone, both Thai and foreign, was incredible and showed how much she meant to so many people. The setting, too, was totally Leone with the temple dogs of Wat Rawai mingling with the crowd who were offered sandwiches and drinks in between the two chanting sessions of the monks. Leone’s husband Tim, who is recovering from had a stroke he suffered 2 months earlier, asked me to set up a memorial fund for Leone, through Soi Dog Foundation for which I will open an account today. He has also decided to make sure that the 3 local people who always helped Leone feed the dogs in that area, will continue to do so for the next several months by continuing paying their salaries. Leone’s close friend Nok will continue keep track of new arrivals and necessary treatments, which Frances will then coordinate with me. Meanwhile, we will continue to work out a plan to take over after that.