Peggy (Dubeau) Vant-Robinson
Margaret “Peggy” Louise Dubeau was born on April 27, 1941 to Maude and Raymond Dubeau in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Peggy and her siblings Rae, Don, and Linda grew up on a 20,000-acre ranch twenty miles west of Medicine Hat along the South Saskatchewan River.
In 1960 Peggy became Medicine Hat’s Stampede Queen, an incredibly proud moment. In the fall of 1960, Peggy taught grades one to six at Suffield, Alberta. The following year, being engaged to John Vant, she taught at Lakedell School west of Wetaskiwin. John had bought a place at Millet for them. Peggy and John were married on August 3, 1962 in Redcliff, Alberta. Peggy taught until Christmas at Pipestone and welcomed a baby girl, Jill, on April 24, 1963. Peggy and John welcomed Margy Jo on July 15, 1965, and Shawn on February 21, 1970.
Peggy and John were very involved with the Millet Light Horse Club and Peggy was the Secretary Treasurer with the club for a number of years. Achievement Day was held at Tom Goin’s place, and in 1969 John and Peggy assisted in building their own arena for people to use. The arena stood where Millet's water reserve is today. Peggy would help John train horses and learned to ride cutting horses during this time. She went on to win the Alberta Ladies Cutting Horse Champion in 1972. A girls' club was sponsored by the Women’s Institute in Millet and Peggy was a leader for a few years. Peggy worked with a group of parents, and a dance teacher was brought to Millet so the children could learn to highland dance. 1972 also saw the new curling rink in Millet open, and Peggy became an active member.
After John’s unfortunate passing in 1977, the girls started riding more. A new group for young women was started by the Tellim Women’s Institute and Peggy became involved in the Handicraft Division. Peggy was always involved with the Quarter Horse Shows in Alberta, and was the secretary and treasurer from 1977 to 1982. The J-V Ranch Quarter Horse Show, one of the largest shows in Alberta, started in 1977; it was held at Peggy’s arena for 6 years. She had help from neighbors; the United Church Women ran the food booth, serving pie to many people, including the famous Ian Tyson. This show was held the first week in June. The girls would show horses, so Peggy would pack up the motorhome and hitch up the trailer and they would travel around for four to five months during the spring and summer. Peggy met Bob Robinson in 1980 and they dated for two years before getting married on December 3, 1982.
Peggy curled during the winter while the girls babysat and Shawn skated. In 1981, Louise Maguire inspired a group of women to start the Millet & District Arts & Craft Guild. They bought looms and quilt frames and set up in Phyllis Mullen’s old house. Two years later, they moved into the basement of Millet School. The school expanded and they had to move again, this time into the basement of the Town Office. Peggy has been the Guild treasurer for many years and has taught classes. She also helps at the Museum, sewing flags and garment bags.
After Peggy and Bob were married, she helped him at his menswear shows, selling shirts and tack. They drove Peggy’s son Shawn all over Western Canada to help him with his Rodeo Career. Bob roped and Shawn rode bareback horses, so they did a lot of travelling to rodeos. Peggy enrolled Jill in Olds College for two years and sent Margy to Red Deer College and the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Margy would become a schoolteacher. Peggy also helped Bob’s son Bruce and daughter Cara with their education.
Peggy has a compelling sense of community spirit, and she always keeps busy, one way or another. She has sung with the United Church choir and with the Wetaskiwin Chorolaries, entertaining senior groups. She has also taught Sunday school and helps with Christmas concerts in the community hall. Linda Goin and Peggy started a figure skating group in Millet at the outdoor rink by the community hall; they would also put on outdoor carnivals.
Along with travelling all around Western Canada, Peggy and Bob have travelled a lot in the last 10 years. They have been to England, Russia, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean, Mexico, and the Maritimes. They also go to the NFR in Vegas every December. Together, Bob and Peggy have 23 grandchildren, and she makes all of them quilts when they graduate from high school and university or when they get married.