Crown Jewels of Canada Society

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We are a

For Canadian Women, Women of All Ages Welcome! 1

Crown Jewels of Canada Society There's a group capturing the hearts and minds of Canadian women, and they call themselves Jewels - why? Jewels are precious. These elegant ladies are members of the Crown Jewels of Canada Society, a nationally non-profit for "women dedicated to fun, friendship and support" that unites women across Canada. They might be seen at the roadside cheering on Sylvia in B.C. while she carried the Olympic Torch or supporting their friends with medical or family issues. Jewels gather annually for a national convention hosted each year by a different Province and throughout the year at Provincial gatherings, spa weekends, Jalopy Jaunt Car Rallies, Fashion Shows, elegant teas, pool parties, Murder Mystery parties, grape stomping, lunches in local restaurants, zip-lining and gatherings in member's homes or at local restaurants. Some just meet for coffee or a movie. It doesn't matter what they are up to, the one thing you know is that wherever they gather, you'll hear much laughter and see smiles on their faces. They've left their "reality" at home for a few hours. For them, it's time for a "time out." The Society was incorporated as a federal non-profit organization October 1st 2009 and has chapters all across the country. Run by a Board of Directors (all Founding Members), all members have the right to their say and vote at the Annual General Meeting. The annual membership fee, which is only $10.00/year, is set by the members, not the board. Members are also represented by Regional Representatives, who keep in touch with chapters in their area, help co-ordinate more local events, and welcome new members. They represent the member in their area, any way they can be of help. One way women can connect is on the member's website, “The Jewel Box,� where each province and every member has their own web page. There are support groups, craft groups, recipe groups, event groups, a place to share stories and jokes, they can write a blog, post photos and videos of their activities and connect with other members. We have two groups on Facebook. For the public: Crown Jewels of Canada Society and a private group for registered members only at and have an online Blog at One piece of bling treasured by a select few members is the Founders Club pin. The first 1200 members proudly wear their rhinestone pin in the shape of a maple leaf. There's a story behind the design of this pin which Founder Lynda Millard is willing to share. The society's logo and membership pin was designed by member Jacquie Siedel of Manitoba. The Crown Jewels rules are simple: 1. wear something on your head, 2. wear our colours: red, white and purple (in any combination), 3. pay your dues ($10/year) and 4. have fun!


Chapter leaders are referred to as the Queen. Many areas have a Royal Court which brings together all the local Queens and Vice Queens for discussion, friendship and planning events. Membership is open to any adult woman and so far it's been by word of mouth; one friend inviting another to join. "Every chapter has its own personality." One group was founded from ladies belonging to a local Newcomers Club, another group in Alberta is formed of I.C.U. nurses who work together, one is a quilting group and another was formed with members of a local swim club. Others were formed by a group of friends who wanted to do something on a regular basis. Anything goes! Millard thought her life fulfilled by taking care of her husband and children. Taking time to play seemed selfish. As an empty nester she believes there's nothing selfish about taking time to have fun and spending time with friends. We like to encourage them, says Millard, to take "me time." Some members are doing just that on our annual cruises. We've done the Mexican Riviera, the Coastal Wine Tour, various Caribbean cruises and trips to both Las Vegas and Mexico. National Conventions and smaller Provincial Conventions are by a different province each year. Many also have an annual October 2nd Anniversary party. "Every friend is a Jewel and every Jewel is precious" says Millard.


Founder Lynda Millard and Elaine Dierk, Acting Queen of Divas 'n Diamonds at the 2017 Anniversary Luncheon in B.C.

50's Themed Event at the Winnipeg National Convention


Rebel Rowsers of Regina enjoying themselves, always!

Anniversary Luncheon - October 2017 in B.C.


Bodacious Gems enjoying some "Grape Stomping" in the Okanagan


Chocolate Crowns created as table favours for our Jewels attending National Conventions Handmade by Queen Dottie of Medicine Hat, Alberta

Dancing The Night Away - Winnipeg National Convention


As the song in Dirty Dancing starts out: "Now I've had the time of my life No I never felt like this before" There couldn't be truer words perhaps, but not for the reason as in the song. Today I am going to write about one reason we REALLY NEED THE CROWN JEWELS. I just got off the phone with a friend, the husband of a girl I've known since high school. Our families lives though have been intertwined since the early 1700's. She is very ill and they don't know why. She's going through very thorough medical testing in New York. Her husband asked me to call her and hold her hand as she needs me. The Queen of our chapter is going through a nightmare of a time right now with a husband who is critically ill, going through radiation and chemo in preparation for very intricate surgery. All her days are consumed with getting him to and from the hospital for treatments and appointments with Doctors. I know several Jewels who are presently fighting cancer and other ailments. Some struggle quietly while others reach out to friends, family and Jewels for support. We all handle stress and illness differently, in our own way, the way best for us. I've had my own medical battles the past five years and both my husband and I must now be tested every six months for cancer. Our youngest son has just had surgery and is critically ill. We are there to help him, his wife and care for their two small children as often as we can. The stress is overwhelming and it makes us realize how silly it is, some of the things we normally worry about. This week I found out that another friend has died and another, in Montreal is ill and now his wife has fallen and required surgery. She is supposed to be his caregiver and now she needs her own help. This is our live now. We are at that age, when these things begin to happen all around us and to us and our friends and even family. This is why WE NEED THE JEWELS and why it is important to look around at our friends and encourage them to join too. We need friends. We need support. We need to know someone cares. Last night I ran into a friend who's sister-in-law lost her husband not long ago. Thankfully for her, she lives in a smaller town, where she has friends and neighbours to help her: because they know she is suddenly alone. Women in a large city are often "lost" - people just assume they haven't seen them lately because they are busy with their own life but all too often they are sitting at home, lonely, afraid, or just plain numb. We all need friends. We all need someone who checks in periodically to see how we are doing.


Belonging to a CJCS chapter means you are invited to an event at least once a month and someone reaches out to tell you the plans and hopefully, if you don't respond, someone will be in touch to ensure you are okay and just busy that month. Aging isn't easy. It gets lonelier each year that we get older. Let's do it together! Please, call a friend today and invite her to join your chapter. She needs you, she needs us.

Canada Day Celebrations with the Precious Pearls in Nova Scotia


From the Revelstoke, British Columbia newspaper:


Christmas is fondly remembered as being a time for family and friends; getting together and making memories. But demographics show more women than ever live alone. Some will be home for the holidays, while others will face a solo Christmas. Even those who do have company may return to an empty house once the festivities are done. Research indicates that the health dangers of loneliness are a greater threat to health than obesity or smoking), and social media appears to add to, rather than alleviate these issues. Loneliness increases depression, leads to a poor diet and lack of exercise, and can result in suicide. Physical diseases thought to be caused or exacerbated by loneliness would include Alzheimer’s, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and even cancer – tumours can metastasize faster in lonely people. As John Cacioppo says in The Science of Loneliness, ‘’Loneliness is breaking our hearts, but as a culture we rarely talk about it.’’ If I’m a lonely 50-plus single woman, (or the child, sibling or friend of one), what’s the answer? That was the question Lynda Millard asked herself five years ago. Real social networking with Canada’s only national non profit group was her solution. Stretching from Vancouver to Toronto; The Crown Jewels of Canada Society, provides friendship and support for a generation of women ready for a second life. Established by a small group of Canadian women from a house in Kelowna, this is a story of women joining together to help women; inspirational and empowering! Over 5,000 strong, and with members from coast to coast, rules are few and simple. Wear red and white to reflect the Canadian heritage with a splash of purple (the Jewels are regal after all), pay your annual $10 dues, wear something on your head (be that a fascinator or a decorated bra!) and have fun. Activities range from jalopy rides to cruises, charity fund raisers to annual conventions, craft fairs to tea parties, and, movie nights to zip lining. There is an annual convention hosted by a different province each year, and a cruise for those who want to travel with like-minded companions. In an increasingly remote online world, the organization takes the refreshing approach that chapters and individuals can engage via the Internet, but the focus is on real relationships and get-togethers – women striking up and maintaining relationships with women.


What The Experts Say

Author Gail Sheehy said: "Having checked off most "shoulds," women generally feel a new sense of mastery in their late 40's and 50's. You've done your best to please your parents, your boss, your mate, and to raise your kids. Now it's time for you." - She's right!!! It's time to put ourselves first! The Head of Psychiatry at Stanford gave a speech on the relationship between stress and disease. He commented that “one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman, whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends. At first everyone laughed, but he was serious. Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically this quality “girlfriend time" helps us to create more serotonin--a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well-being. Women share feelings whereas men often form relationships around activities. They rarely sit down with a buddy and talk about how they feel about certain things or their personal lives but are more than willing to discuss their jobs, sports, cars, fishing, hunting or golf. But their feelings? Rarely. Women do it all the time. We share from our souls with our sisters, and evidently that is very good for our health. He said that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym. True! There's a tendency to think that when we are "exercising" we are doing something good for our bodies, but when we’re hanging out with friends, we’re wasting our time and should be more productively engaged - not true. In fact, failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking! So what’s holding you back? Join us today! Every time we get together we can pat ourselves on the back and congratulate ourselves for doing something good for our health!


A WISE WOMAN SAID: Stop Growing Up & Older, Start Growing Wise & Wilder…

There comes a day, somewhere in the middle of every woman’s life, when Mother Nature herself stands behind us and wraps her arms around our shoulders, whispering “It’s time.” “You have taken enough now. It’s time to stop growing up, stop growing older and start growing wiser – and wilder. There are adventures still waiting on you and this time, you will enjoy them with the vision of wisdom and the companionship of hindsight, and you will really let go. It’s time to stop the madness of comparison and the ridicule of schedule and conformity and start experiencing the joys that a life, free of containment and guilt, can bring.” She will shake your shoulders gently and remind you that you’ve done your bit. You’ve given too much, cared too much, you’ve suffered too much. You’ve bought the book as it were and worn the t-shirt. Worse, you’ve worn the chains and carried the weight of a burden far too heavy for your shoulders. “It’s time” she will say. “Let it go, really let it go and feel the freedom of the fresh, clean spaces within you. Fill them with discovery, love, and laughter. Fill yourself so full you will no longer fear what is ahead and instead, you will greet each day with the excitement of a child.” She will remind you that if you choose to stop caring what other people think of you and instead of caring what you think of you, that you will experience a new era of your life you never dreamed possible. ‘It’s time’ she will say… “to write the ending, or new beginning, of your own story.”


Oliver Wine & Roses - Hosts of the annual "Christmas In July" in B.C.

New Brunswick Jewels celebrating "Watermelon Day"


Bodacious Gems enjoying dinner and bowling Night

Our Jewels participating in a parade. Kipling Clas n Hatz won first prize!


Crown Jewel Girlfriends - by Elaine Life happens... Distance separates... Children grow up... Jobs come and go... Hearts break... Careers end... Loneliness... Cancer Survivors... BUT... Crown Jewel Sisters are always there… No matter how much time and how many miles are between you. A Crown Jewel girl friend is never farther away than needing her can reach. When you have to walk that lonesome valley by yourself, the Crown Jewels in your life will be on the valley's rim, cheering you on, praying for you, pulling for you, intervening on your behalf, and waiting with open arms at the valley's end. Sometimes, they will even break the rules and walk beside you. When Lynda Millard followed her dream in 2009, she had no idea of the incredible joys that lay ahead, nor did she know how many lives Crown Jewels would affect. Lynda shared her dreams with some friends in BC, and some of her Internet friends, word spread, and this dream became reality as friends across Canada, encouraged and supported her. Many of these Jewels spent many, many hours and months volunteering to help Lynda get Crown Jewels off the ground and continue to volunteer today, as they believe in the Crown Jewels. Crown Jewels span from Vancouver Island to Prince Edward Island. Canada wouldn't be the same without Crown Jewels… I, myself have met many new friends across Canada and have also been reunited with childhood friends I have not seen for many, many years. I am proud to say that I am a Crown Jewel of Canada. We should be thankful that Lynda’s vision has given us the opportunity to join such a wonderful organization as the Crown Jewels.

I do not regret growing old... It's a privilege denied to many. "Life is not a dress rehearsal" Don't sit back and watch the world go by... Get out and enjoy yourself, share stories and laughter with your girlfriends! 15

Honey B's of Vancouver Island host a Luau

One day while enjoying time relaxing on the beach my attention was caught by the laughter of a group of ladies nearby who appeared to be in their 50s. It was obvious they were on a girls’ weekend. All one need do is take in the coolers and cocktails, beach bags with romance novels, straw hats, umbrellas in the sand — but most telling of all was their laughter. Lots and lots of laughter, the kind that draws attention and curiosity from anyone in earshot. I loved watching these women enjoy each others company. I could imagine being in their shoes one day, basking in the glow of old friends who still made me feel young again. Later I ran into two of the ladies and when I commented on how much fun they seemed to be having they laughed and one replied, “Oh, we do have fun. We’ve kept this beach trip going for 20 years and have been through everything — divorce, death, cancer, unemployment. They gave me some of the most valuable advice I’ve ever received: Don’t ever lose touch with your girlfriends, sweetheart. The older you get, the more you’ll need them.”


Be they elegant or be it all ifn “good fun� our Jewels share happy times together!


The Classy Lassies Canada Day Summer Picnic


Jewels Jewels are precious gems. Just as we have a wide variety of jewels, we have a wide variety of women in our membership. The definition of jewels uses the words: • precious

valuable attractive

along with: "One that is treasured or esteemed"

Whether we are wives, mothers, or friends • we are all precious ! •

We are all "Jewels" !

Uniting women across Canada in a social environment promoting friendship, fun, and support. Women need to take care of themselves and part of that means taking time to have fun with friends near and far! 19

A little rain doesn’t bother our Jewels with the CJCS umbrellas, a gift received at the Richmond, B.C. Convention in 2014.

Prairie Red Rubies, Saskatchewan 20

Comments from our members: Crown Jewels have become a very special part of my life. Especially the ladies in Prairie Gems of The Hat. We laugh, play and share our sad times together too. What a wonderful support group we have. We are so blessed! Crown Jewels have become a very special part of my life. Especially the ladies in Prairie Gems of The Hat. We laugh, play and share our sad times together too. What a wonderful support group we have. We are so blessed! What the crown jewels mean to me ,is comfort to know that i am not alone.there always a friendly ear. and a smile for me . in hard times and good time.we are all sisters. Best cruise yet! What a great group of women. Awesome how we all get along and can support each other in times of need. Our Jewels are amazing. One came without luggage (lost by airline) and another came on cruise with a broken arm and foot! Three had recently lost a loved one. We were all there to support one another and have fun while doing so. We appreciate all you do for us and to make CJCS a reality. Looking forward to the next big event. I really enjoyed the cruise and our cabin location, it was great to step out onto the balcony and see a friendly familiar face. Our Jewels are a amazing group and everyone seemed to be having a great time. Thank you for all your hard work and planning that goes into making this a success. Very much appreciated!!!! CJCS has brought us new friends from across the country. It also means I never get bored. There is so much to do and so much fun yet to be experienced. Already looking forward to next year in Calgary and of course, the cruise at the end of January. Thank you to Lynda for her vision of the Crown Jewels of Canada Society and to all the founding members who made this happen. I love all the wonderful events I have and will attend. I have grown from the friendships I've made and look forward to many more years of fun. I do firmly believe that Crown Jewels of Canada has much improved the lives of many ladies all across Canada - I certainly know it has changed my life for the better!! I am so glad that I joined CJCS. I had a very good week and busy out 5 times -----lunch, museum with pie and coffee, library, Be Your Own Valentine (pampering, goodies and door prizes). Beats sitting home and going from TV chair to computer chair.... from a Diamond Lady in Camrose AB I am really enjoying my involvement with CJCS, meeting lovely ladies and especially working with Lynda - she is a fabulous and inspiring woman. CJCS has cemented a sisterhood that I've never had before. My sisters of my chapter are like blood sisters for me....the sisters I have met throughout Canada the last 6 years can never be replaced....Forever grateful for the laughter, joy, experiences I would never have done alone, to share this all together with so many sisters country words can ever describe my 21

emotions when I think what this has done for me personally. I have always said I was so shy and insecure, but life has changed since I started Red Hats and then continued onto CJCS which I think just brought this "Chatty Cathy" out in me. LOL Thank you Lynda for your dream, for letting me share in your dream and to make it happen. Your words of welcome are much appreciated. Enjoying the company of old friends and the opportunity to meet new ones, combined with year round adventures is most exciting and I consider myself very fortunate to be invited to be part of this special society. Just wanted you to all know how much I personally appreciate the work you do. What a wonderful opportunity to be a part of this great society to where it is today. To you our leader Lynda, a lady with a dream and the team you picked has made it all possible, thank you. I am privileged to be associated with such great gals and the opportunity for all of us to "gel" with lasting friendships. You do a good job, and thank you for taking care of us all in our many varied and often diverse personalities!!!

igure 12017 Board of Directors

You are doing such a wonderful thing, creating this organization for all these women, you are very inspiring. Remember that the greater majority truly appreciate it and the minority who complain could probably not appreciate anything no matter how carefully you tried to tailor it exactly to their requirements. That is the nature of some people. CJCS means the world to me. Never having to be alone, always something to do with others


Great opportunity to have fun... be yourself... and meet new people. Oh yes, and play dress up! Getting in touch with myself and exploring new things with others my age. It is a sisterhood where we can share and feel free to try things without being judged. It is my sanity and freedom that I allow myself every month. As a widow I find that I am able to attend many activities such as concerts etc. with a group of friends that I wouldn’t attend on my own. And we are there for one another in good times and in bad times. I am proud to be a member of the Jewels. I am very happy to be part of such a nice group of ladies. I enjoy our outings and meeting other Jewels, to me it is a wonderful society and I am so happy to have been invited into it. I do hope the Crown Jewels is proud to have me! I met several wonderful friends and we kept in touch other than at Jewels events. Just what I needed in a new area At a time in my life when I’m suddenly alone, it means friendship, caring, compassion, laughs, fun, sharing It’s fun, it’s friendship with the girls, but it’s more than that; the caring and camaraderie shine through, along with adventurous spirit. Wonderful group of caring and helpful friends with your best interest in mind, very social with wonderful outlook on growing old with grace and humour. A group of ladies who enjoy each other’s company and are a support group when a crisis occurs This is an amazing fellowship with like-minded ladies Meeting with fun loving gals, laughter, relaxation, a magical time Sisterhood, friendship, camaraderie, fun, and good times among mature women both local and nationwide A bunch of crazy old ladies who can dress up in gaudy clothes and rhinestones and not give a damn about who laughs at them. An opportunity to have fun and friendship with women who have like interests. One group have members who joined us when they were in personal crisis. Over the years we provided a support system for each other and became close friends Getting me out of the house and keeping me from going into deep depression. This gives me something to look forward to. An opportunity to have fun and friendship with women who have like interests. One group have 23

members who joined us when they were in personal crisis. Over the years we provided a support system for each other and became close friends. I am a recent widow and don’t have a social life yet, except for the Jewels Free to be me! Enjoy companionship, friendship and the chance to meet women from all across Canada. I am always excited when I learn that new Chapters are formed. And the support and caring that is offered by all members when one of us is in need of a little TLC The friends we make, the fun and definitely the support we give each other when someone encounters a problem like illness, death etc. I’m proud to be part of the CJCS and spreading the word about us. I’m also proud of the fact that we are Canadian I was alone and lonely after the loss of my husband. I sat at home day after day, alone and feeling sorry for myself. Until the day a friend "dragged" me to a CJCS event. What fun I had! I was laughing again and finally felt alive. Thank you. You truly saved my life.

"Life is a journey meant to be shared"

Divas 'n Diamonds (B.C.) enjoying "Afternoon Tea"


Regina Jewels: Announcing the location of the 2018 National Convention


Cruising with the Jewels

Our Jewels Know How To Have Fun!


Do You Believe in Monsters? There are times in our lives when we stew and stir up doubts and fears, not trusting ourselves. The problem is that when we worry, we take reality and move it into the realm of fiction. What is real is transferred into the land of monsters and dragons, which are far bigger and more frightening than they really are. Sometimes people can't face, or don't want to face reality because reality can at times cause fear. If we choose to remain calm, then eventually we are able to walk away from fighting; fighting our fears. As members of the CJCS we may fear planning an event for our chapter because we have never done it before. Ask a friend to help. When you plan it together it won't be quite so frightening. Don't be afraid of failure as the fear alone might paralyze you.

Ida, Kelly (& friend) and Cheryl in Winnipeg at the 2017 National Convention

FaceBook Safety - How To Stay Safe and What To Do If Hacked Unfortunately, some of our friends FaceBook page has been hacked. We hope it’s not happened to you but we would like to share this important information with you: If you worry that your account has been hacked, there is a simple way to check. Go to the arrow in the upper right-hand corner of your Facebook page and click on it. In the menu, select Settings. A new menu will pop up. Choose Security and Login and then Where You're Logged In. A list of all of the devices that you've logged into and their locations will pop up. If there is a login you don't recognize, chances are you may have been hacked. If you see anything that isn't you, click Not You? on the right side of the log. Then click Secure Account. Facebook will then walk you through the steps of securing your account after running a diagnostic on your account. Click Get Started. 27

Some other ways to tell if your account has been hacked are: • • • •

Your name, birthday, email or password has been changed Someone sent out friend requests to people you don't know Messages have been sent from your account, but you didn't write them Posts are appearing on your timeline that you didn't post

After you secure your account, make it safer. Open Facebook in your browser and go to Settings > Security and Login > Setting Up Extra Security. From there: • Turn on login alerts so that you receive notifications when your account is logged into. This helps you catch a hacker early, before any major damage is done. • Enable two-factor authentication, then choose an extra layer of security from the list. • Choose your trusted contacts and add a few close friends or family members that can help you unlock your account if it ever becomes hacked.


The Great Gatsby Car Rally in B.C.


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