This year marked the 6th year that Pelikan, the German maker of fine writing equipment, sponsored the international Pelikan Hubs. Pelikan Hubs are simultaneously held gatherings around the world. Local groups of fountain pen enthusiasts meet and talk pens, paper, and all things stationery. These annual meetings are scheduled for a Friday evening in September. Basically, these are worldwide coordinated pen-club meetings.
This year, I volunteered to be the Hub Master for the Vancouver Pelikan Hub. I took over the reins from the fantastic and talented Maja Furlong who had organized the even for the last five years. Maja had held amazing events in the past, and it was going to be a challenge to make this Hub live up to her high standard.
Shebeen Whiskey House
The 2019 Vancouver Pelikan Hub was held at the Shebeen Whiskey House in Gastown - a trendy and happening area in Vancouver featuring lots of great nighttime entertainment. The staff of Shebeen were fantastic and let us book the entire restaurant for the night. The food was terrific, and the drinks looked fantastic. Unfortunately, I drove to the vent as I had to deliver 200 pounds of generous gifts from Pelikan, which meant I didn’t get to sample any of the fantastic selection. I saw several attendees enjoying a snifter or two.
We had around 60 guests at the hub. Almost everyone who booked showed up and all the seats in the restaurant were full. After a short but busy check-in - where attendees filled out a name tag, signed in, received their gift bags, and signed the 2019 Pelikan Hubs flag, the festivities began.
Pelikan was extremely generous again this year - providing gifts for the registered attendees who came to the Hub. These gifts included a bottle of the 2019 Edelstein Ink of the Year called Star Ruby, a nice pad of paper and the beautiful pen-porn magazine - Passion. I received positive comments on the paper quality and believe that the magazine will cost attendees lots of money for the newly announced and beautifully photographed Pelikan pens.
The Star Ruby ink is a vibrant pinky-red. I filled a Pilot Metropolitan with the ink for everyone to test as they were signing in and really liked how bright and saturated the colour is. It is perhaps the most brilliant of the Edelstein inks, and I really liked it. After spilling some ink on my fingers, I discovered that this colour is ideal for those days when you want to get out of work. The dried ink looks remarkably like blood! As usual with Edelstein inks, Star Ruby wrote beautifully, flowed nicely, and behaved well.
Families and Friends
Pelikan sponsors this event, and there is an element of brand awareness with the gifts. However, the benefits that Pelikan offers the community are far more significant than just showing off the fantastic inks. Pelikan brings together liked minded individuals that may not have know each other before. We had several members from local clubs - the Vancouver Pen Club and the West Coast Calligraphy Club - but we also had many new-to-me faces.
We had attendees that drove for over three hours to attend, all the way from Pemberton, BC. We had other guests visiting from Montreal. And lots of local participants.
However, the most fantastic thing of the night for me was the attendance of two families with younger, fountain-pen enthusiasts. One of the young girls proudly showed me how her penmanship had improved over the last year of using a fountain pen. I truly enjoyed seeing the fun and passion of the younger generation and appreciate their parents for encouraging them to come and join in. Thank you!
Vancouver Pen Club
There were many members of the Vancouver Pen Club in attendance. I appreciate their help setting up the evening and their warmth and encouragement.
The Vancouver Pen Club is a free monthly meeting of fountain pen enthusiasts. They usually meet on the third Thursday of each month at a location in Vancouver (often in a library meeting room). The meetings are much smaller than the Pelikan Hub and a little more centralized, allowing more focus on pens, the meeting theme, and some buying and selling pens.
Check out their website for more information here: Vancouver Pen Club
Westcoast Calligraphy Society
We also had several members from the Westcoast Calligraphy Society in attendance - all lovely people. I don’t know much about the club, as it was my first introduction to them. The club meets monthly in the Vancouver area on the fourth Wednesday of each month (with a summer break). They are open to fountain pen users as well as the more traditional dip-pen and India ink scribes.
The members were kind enough to offer personalized bookmarks, featuring the most impressive calligraphy. I appreciated the bookmark they made for me and realized how terrible my hand-writing on my nametag was compared to their remarkable work.
For more information on their meetings and membership, please see their website: Westcoast Calligraphy Society | We welcome members from around the world.
The night ran for almost three hours of pen related fun and excitement. Thank you to all attendees for coming and participating and making this a really great night.
Let’s do it next year as well!