Pelikan Hub Kuching 2023

[Planted: 20 August 2023 | Last tended: 20 October 2023]

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Added 2023 report to the bottom.

I agreed to take on the role of Hub Master for this year’s Pelikan Hub.

If this event is unfamiliar to you, it is an annual international meet-up organised by Pelikan every 22 September, and facilitated by Hub Masters in participating cities. You need 7 sign-ups before a city is confirmed. This is the third or fourth year Kuching is a hub, and my first time as Hub Master.

An envelope with the words "To the Hub Master" visible.

Sign-ups this year kicked of really early. There was a “save the date” aka pre-sign-up, followed by the actual sign-up that was only available to those who registered interest early. There were some unhappy noises from those who missed the “save the date”. Given that 2022’s participation was through the roof, I think this is a way of crowd control.

When spreading the word, we’ve always had to explain a number of things to other fountain pen users.

No, you don’t have to be a Pelikan user. But you inevidebly end up being one because they usually give out their Ink of the Year during these hubs and you end up using it if that’s your first pot of Pelikan ink.

No, you don’t have to be a massive fountain pen nerd. There certainly are regulars in our group who know their fountain pens and own very fancy ones, but I’m happy with my small collection of affordable pens. Gets the job done. Never mind I barely use them because I’m on the computer most of the time.

Is it too late to join? No. You don’t get the goodies that Pelikan sent (it has arrived for our 15 registered hubbers), but you’re still welcome to join an evening of fellowship with other fountain pen users. We are always happy to get your fingers inky.

The best way to reach us is either through our Facebook group Fountain Pen Kuching, or my email in the main sidebar. I probably won’t book a place until early next month, so there’s time.

Here’s to a great Hub!

A group of people behind a banner that says Pelikan Hub 2022. They are all smiling. Some are flashing V fingers.
Pelikan Hub 2022

Pelikan Hub Kuching 2023 Report

This year’s Pelikan Hub had 15 registrations. Three were absent – two were travelling and one forgot. The goods were handed out. The big table broke out all the pens and inks and paper after dinner, while the little table engaged in conversation. It was a situation that happened organically, and it was nice. Everybody took care of themselves and each other. My social batteries were low so I was at the small table. A bunch of new people joined us, so that was nice. I hope to see them during our regular meets.

As a Hub Master, my role went smoothly. My aim was to leave without the mailing box I came with, and I succeeded. The banner went home with the previous Hub Master. I drew the cat outline on it at home and that took forever; the group helped fill it in with the provided black markers. The Hub Master’s gift was claimed, so were the spare name labels and markers. The smaller boxes were reused to pack their goodies.

The stint as Hub Master exposed me to the world of international Hub Masters, where I learned of potential drama that may arise when your group gets too big. We are currently a comfortably small group that can be overseen by one distracted person making only the barest minimum effort (ie book a venue, be the parcel recipient for your city, some basic admin and speaking skills).

Bigger groups, my estimate is any group bigger than 20, may not have the luxury of booking a few tables at a local cafe for the price of dinner. Some cities run these as literal events – with extra door gifts, lucky draws, activities, etc. One hub sent out a form asking participants to RSVP with a small fee to help with booking a venue, which a hubber indignantly took to the FB group. Another Hub Master told me that yes, she paid to book the venue but left a donation box to let anyone help with defraying the cost, which works well if your participants are considerate or you can afford not to get your money back.

It’s rather upsetting to think that some people expect the Hub Master to foot any venue booking fee, and it’s definitely not a burden I expect a future Hub Master to bear alone. For the moment, it helps that we’re a small group that meets up periodically through the year, and will likely communicate any problems.

We ended the night by launching a WhatsApp group to facilite communication.

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