Leo Laden



The passing of Dr Robert David Leopold Kosak Laden, universally known as Leo, on 19 January 2019 was a changing of the zodiac.

There have been few like him and in our degenerate age, with its soul crushing political correctness, aka Leninist claptrap (appropriate for one who died of raging syphilis), most do not want to raise their heads above the parapet.

Leo was the public pox doctor in Perth, and he endured the presence of such illuminating degenerates as the one who had a light bulb lodged in his rectum. His antagonism towards psychopathic sexual perverts is detailed in his bestselling book. 

This led to his early retirement at 54. And for that, all who remember him are thankful.

So when Leo came to me in 1995 with his manuscript of Dicks and Dickheads I have known, there was an instant rapport of like individual minds against the hive.

His public lectures on the subject allowed all those questions which previously many were too embarrassed to ask. The result was almost revolutionary.

The book raised instant antagonism from the ‘Health’ Department as he flatly contradicted the mass propaganda about those poor inoffensive people with AIDS. There were apparently threats of legal action from the government and if it had been anybody but Leo the scum of our bureaucracies might have shut us down.

He empathized with the main MASH characters in their contempt for the irrelevancies of officialdom designed for lesser minds.

Leo was born in London on 18 December 1937 to Georg and Leah Kosak, of Russian and German stock. He grew up in London and was evacuated to Wales during the blitz. His father died just after the war and his mother remarried to a Dr Laden. He never wanted to be a doctor but perhaps this pleased his mother.

He met Daphne at University College whilst performing on stage in a hospital review. Apparently neither the girlfriend nor the acting was supported by his Jewish mother. Lovely Daf remained his best friend who accompanied him everywhere until she passed away in 2017.

He joined the RAF and served as a Flight Lieutenant in Aden but the troubles there and the birth of Guy (1963) and Helen (1965) resulted in returning to Cornwall. A rainstorm in London and shelter in WA House led to his signing up as a doctor in outback Leonora. He built a house at Sorrento. Steven (1968) and Jon arrived (1972). He worked at Heathcote and Graylands as a staff psychiatrist and a Quarantine Officer at Fremantle and the airport.

Tennis clubs, P & C, wide travelling and sporting interests were all played well.

Later their haven at Nowergup with Leo’s arms collection became a place of pilgrimage for all arms collectors.

Leo was a passionate collector since a teenager and his wheeling and dealing in all things military led to his Antique Arms and Armour business and to his Perth Muzzle Loading Club championships and international competitions. His involvement with the SSAA(WA) and his outspokenness regarding licensing matters with the government and police flummoxed them and was a great support for rational licensing.

The Sherlock Holmes Society and re-creations of historical events with the Perth Volunteer Rifles were important catalysts for all in appreciating the historical wealth of the nation.

His interest in things that went bang, like gumnut bombs and cannon, was  appreciated as the editor was also an early disciple of the Big Bang club.

A special edition of the Perth Muzzle Loading Club Inc newsletter, The Black Powder Report, February 2019 is dedicated to Leo.

Unfortunately I could not go to his funeral but Sanghee, Calliope and Celene of Hesperian were there to wave goodbye.

I am indebted to Leo’s children for sending me their funeral orations which gave much detail on this extraordinary chap and old friend.

Peter J Bridge, OAM