Charles Leonard Cropper was born in Ulverston, Lancashire, England in January 1894, the middle child of the Reverend Charles Henry Edward Cropper and Ethel Mary (Green). He was educated at Trent College, Nottingham and London University, training as a school teacher. Following his WWI service (as a Captain, 5th Northamptonshire Regiment), he moved to Canada in March 1920. His aim was to farm in Saskatchewan, where he spent a few years. However, at the urging of his uncle, Hugh Septimus Green (already a resident), he made his way to Salt Spring Island and took up 20 acres of land on the Fulford-Ganges Road (bordering Mereside Farm) .
Working with Mr. Beddis, a carpenter, he built a home and barns and established an orchard. In addition to finding work where available, he raised chickens, and also grew raspberries. In June 1925 he married Mary Stuart Davidson, a Scottish nurse working at Lady Minto Hospital. Their son, Leonard Atholl Stuart, was born in October 1927, followed five years later by twins, Doris and Muriel.
When Formby House School became available, Charles Leonard moved his family to Ganges and for the next five years ran the school, until the family moved to Victoria in 1940. As well as academic subjects for the approximately 25 students, Mr. Cropper coached his pupils in Archery and .22 Rifles, building target practice ranges on the 9-acre property. He was invited to be President of the Ganges Boys Club and remained in this role until the family left the Island. He was also very involved in Theatre productions on the Island.
After leaving Salt Spring, Mr. Cropper taught at St. Michael’s University School in Victoria until his death in 1957. The family did not return but have continued to harbour a keen interest in the Island and its welfare through the years.more photos