Prior to joining the Ontario Provincial Police in August of 1954, Hank (Henry) Harper had distinguished himself as a representative of Canada in the Olympics of 1948 in kayaking events. Hank also brought prior policing experience to his O.P.P. position at Gananoque.

On the evening of August 5, 1957, while investigating an accident, Constable Hank Harper was struck by another motorist and was badly injured. Hank lapsed into a coma soon after arrival at the hospital. Unfortunately, he never regained consciousness and died on September 11, 1957.

Hank (Henry) Harper was survived by his wife and four young daughters. He was twenty-eight years old.