Violet: Mother to many, friend to all

Jan. 28, 2020

When Violet gets together with her friend Beryl, they always have lots to talk about. While both friends love knitting, the stories of how they came to be here are very different.

Violet was born in Canada, as many in her family had been for centuries. She was the 9th of 14 children born to a French-Canadian father and an English-Canadian mother who lived near Otter Lake, in Quebec’s Pontiac region.

Otter Lake is about an hour’s drive north of Arnprior. When Violet was a girl, it was a more isolated community, where her French Canadian father and English-speaking mother met and fell in love, despite a language barrier.

“My mother didn’t speak French, and my father didn’t have much English,” Violet laughs.


Violet met her own husband, Roger, when she was 15, and by 17 was starting a family of her own. Roger worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway, which required frequent moves at first. But the couple eventually settled down in Arnprior in 1952, and had 13 children together.

Violet always worked outside the home, as well as within, preparing food in restaurants and office cafeterias around the Valley. At home, she made all her children’s clothes and always had her kitchen door open to neighbourhood kids, who dropped by frequently to enjoy her home cooking. She adds, “People used to say, ‘if you don’t know where your children are, they’re probably at Violet’s — she feeds them!’”

Violet is now the matriarch of five living generations, with 18 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. She moved to the Grove in May 2018 after attending the Adult Day Program for the previous two years.

Violet has high praise for the staff and residents at the Grove. “I get along with everybody!” Violet says. “Everyone is so nice.”

“And the food is excellent!” she adds, which is high praise indeed from the cook who spent so many years nourishing the youth of our town.

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