Sir Zelman’s son dies in paragliding accident

January 10, 2017 by Sophie Deutsch
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Ben Cowen, a Melbourne entrepreneur, community leader and the son of former governor-general Sir Zelman Cowen, tragically died on Sunday after suffering fatal injuries from a paragliding accident.

Ben Cowen

The incident occurred in Fairhaven on the Victorian Surf Coast, where 50-yr-old Ben Cowen had been holidaying with his wife and their 14-year-old son and twin 12-year-old daughters.

As reported in The Age, paramedics were unfortunately unable to save Mr Cowen who died at the scene from critical head and leg injuries. Numerous residents were witness to the scene, with onlookers commenting that Mr Cowen became caught in strong winds close to the shoreline.

Shocked friends and family members described Mr Cowen as a kind, optimistic and generous family man. Rabbi Shimon Cowen, Ben Cowen’s brother, stated, “he had a very bold spirit… he was an outdoorsman, who took his family camping, planning very elaborate trips.”

Mr Cowen had a highly successful career as a lawyer, investment banker and business magnate. He founded the camping megastore chain Anaconda in 2003, and subsequently founded Edison Partners, an advisory firm, in the late 2000s.

His late father Sir Zelman Cowen was knighted in 1976 and shortly afterwards become Australia’s second Jewish Governor-General. He died in 2011.

In addition to his professional and business pursuits, Mr Cowen made noteworthy contributions to the Jewish community. He was actively involved with the King David School, United Israel Appeal, and the Community Security Group.

President Anton Block and executive director Peter Wertheim of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry  wrote  to Rabbi Cowen, expressing their sincere condolences. “On behalf of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, our executive councillors, life members and staff, and personally, we write to convey our deepest sympathy to you on the tragic passing of your beloved brother, Ben… May the Almighty comfort you among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem, and may you be blessed with long life.” ECAJ also wrote a note of sympathy to Ms Carey.

Dr Dvir Abramovich, Chair of The B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission added: “It is with a heavy heart and profound sadness that we mourn the death of Ben Cowen, a much-admired and passionate community leader who was deeply devoted to several causes and who leaves behind a legacy of good works.

The Cowen family has had profound and long-standing connection to the ADC, most notably when the late Sir Zelman Cowen served as the inaugural President of our organisation’s Council of Advisors. We extend our heartfelt condolences and sympathies to Lady Cowen, to Ben’s wife and children, family, friends and supporters.

It’s a terrible loss for those who were lucky to know him and may his memory be a blessing to us all. ”

J-Wire understands Ben Cowen has been survived by his wife Lahra Carey and children Alex (daughter), Charley (daughter) and Mitch (son)


One Response to “Sir Zelman’s son dies in paragliding accident”
  1. Adrian Jackson says:

    Sad news but he could have had a heart attack whilst airborne.

    Doing youth activities at aged 50 can affect judgement too.

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