Above: Violet with her 4 remaining children. Left to right, Pauline Everrett, Gerard Chevalier, Joan Chevalier (back left) and Marion Maslyk. – Submitted Photo
submitted by Monique Webb
On November 28, 2022 Violet (Cust) Chevalier turned 100 years old.
Born in 1922 just outside Rivière Que Barre, Violet was born to William Cust and was one of his 22 children. Violet grew up in the home painted below and told stories of chasing cows out of the dandelions, and taking the wagon and horses to school-except when the mare refused to go, and they had to all walk. Her family is honoured with a street named Cust in St. Albert’s Campbell business park.
She married my Grandfather, Joseph Xavier Chevalier. Grandpa’s family name is listed on the commemorative stone in Morinville, as his father was a founding pioneer. They met at a church function, and years later, he finally got the courage to propose to her at the annual pilgrimage to Lac St. Anne.
They had a farm by Sandy Beach, but Grandma hated living out on the farm all alone with her first children and my grandfather being away. She told stories of hauling water in winter and having to take frozen diapers off the line. Pretty quickly, she convinced Grandpa to move to the city. Grandpa built their house on the edge of town, now known as 127 St. They raised their five children there, two of them blind. I grew up visiting them there, gardening in Grandma’s big garden, and tinkering in Grandpa’s wood shop.
Now my family and my brother’s family have moved back here. Just a few miles from Grandma’s birthplace to live among our distant and extended family.
Today [Nov. 28] we celebrated our Grandma together, and we feel so blessed to be homegrown kids from right here. She received honours from all levels of government and is awaiting her birthday certificate from the Monarch of England! It is unknown yet if it will be a final one signed by the Queen or one of the first signed by the King.