Charles Kahn has lived on Salt Spring for almost 22 years, and has an editing and writing background mostly in educational publishing (textbooks and government publications). He has coauthored three textbooks for social studies students and has written many parts of other books on which he was the editor.
His most important contribution to the island is my writing. Salt Spring: The Story of an Island (Harbour Publishing, 1998) is the only history of the island and gave him a great understanding of the island’s development and many contacts with people who have lived their entire lives here. Hiking the Gulf Islands (Harbour Publishing, 3rd ed. 2011) covers all of the Gulf Islands, from Bowen to Cortes, as well as a number of the larger marine parks. Hiking the Gulf Islands gave him a solid understanding of all of the islands and excellent contacts on all of them. He has also written three smaller history books on Mouat’s, Lady Minto Hospital, and Cusheon Cove.
He has also been very involved in the Salt Spring community. He has been president of the island’s Historical Society, Friends of Saltspring Parks, and the Channel Ridge Homeowners Association. He has been a member of Salt Spring’s Public Library Board, on a focus group in the first revision of the island’s community plan, and he has worked with BC Parks and our local parks and recreation commission on an ongoing basis over many years.
He was highly involved in the acquisition of a property at the top of Mt. Erskine, which led to the establishment of Mt. Erskine Provincial Park, and he was also the lead person in the Salt Spring Island Conservancy’s acquisition of two other properties when he was the chair of the Conservancy’s Covenant Committee and later its Land Acquisition Committee.
(These projects involved a lot of fundraising and liaison with many island and provincial organizations.) He continues to do quite a bit of volunteer work on the board of Friends of Salt Spring Parks, as coordinator of the island’s Restorative Justice Program, hike leading, hospice work, and working with the Gulf Island Secondary School’s International Students Program helping foreign students with their English and other studies. He enjoys hiking, biking, and kayaking and spend a great deal of time outdoors.