There is something so wonderful about putting pen to paper. I journal often to sort out my often jumbled thoughts. I scribble notes in packages that I send to my family in New Zealand. I write long rambling letters to friends. I used to write awful poetry as a teenager. For a long time, my Mum kept my school notebooks. I still write meeting notes in a notebook. I still keep a paper diary. These things are strange in this modern world of blogging and technology, of Instagram, pictures and the digital world in which we live in. Yet, there is something comforting and nostalgic about them.
Which is why it’s so exciting that Hilroy are celebrating their 100th anniversary! 100 years of being the first notebooks owned by Canadians. They are keen to see that the younger generation does not miss out on the pleasure of actual paper and of the learning tools it brings. These days when the mail comes, it’s most often bills and flyers – but sometimes it’s something exciting, like a postcard or better yet, an envelope fat with scrawled pages from a friend. The pleasure that I get from receiving a handwritten letter, that is very much a moment caught in time, which in this fast moving digital age is a rarity. To see mistakes with a cross mark through them. To see arrows pointing to a thought that just jumped out when the writer was thinking about something else that just had to be fitted in.
For many of us, the first notes that we received were in school – pages torn from a Hilroy notebook and passed from student to student in a stuffy classroom on a Friday afternoon. These could have been in primary school, where you were asking someone to come have lunch with you or to walk home from school. Or as a teenager, where you blushed as a note was passed to your crush asking if they were going to a party on Friday night. We all remember those notes. I actually still have some of them as I am so sentimental. Is this something that the younger generation are missing out on?
These days most of my writing is for work. I write notes in meetings, I draw my signature doodle (everyone has a signature doodle, mine is flowers of varying heights) in the margins of my notebook as I mull over a problem or digest what a speaker is saying. Hilroy are there for that too. So it is with delight that we get to celebrate the company that was founded in downtown Toronto by Roy Corson Hill in 1918, and their products that we can all remember from childhood classrooms and we still use in adult boardrooms across Canada.
Earlier this summer, Daniel and Cathrine were lucky enough to attend the exclusive anniversary party, which was also the launch of a charity event. The party looked like so much fun and there were notebooks and nostalgia everywhere. The charity event encourages Canadians to take part in a digital challenge aimed at helping fellow people in need. Canadians are participating by uploading their creative thoughts, designs or doodles in a Hilroy notebook, to tag a friend into their scribbles and challenging others to do the same. Every challenge completed using #hilroy100challenge, sees a notebook donated to school kids in need.
I have been looking over all of these amazing scribbles and pictures and it makes me excited. The pictures are so much fun and I’m so jealous of the talent that these notebooks are bringing out. I encourage you all to get involved at @hilroycanada and join in the fun for a brilliant cause. Also, keep an eye out for an exciting installation from Duro the Third in the Distillery District, Toronto. Working with Hilroy, the installation depicts the endless creative potential of blank paper and pen. This pop-up has proved hugely popular with young and old alike!
Of course these days, Hilroy is more than the staple, amazing notebook. It’s binders, backpacks, pencil cases and bullet journals (who does not love a bullet journal). So do yourself a huge favour, take some time out, doodle, scribble, draw, pour your feelings out, upload it for a good cause and then pop your notebook in your backpack and head on out into the world!
Photos by Hilroy Canada
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