The 480th Schaffermahl will take place on 9 February 2024 and Jan-Oliver Buhlmann will be one of the hosts as the 3rd Schaffer. The traditional event is the oldest fraternal banquet in the world and is regarded as one of the most important social events in Germany. Guest of honor this year ist Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The Schaffermahl was established almost 500 years ago as a common effort between merchants and seafarers. The purpose of the charity event is to collect donations for the Foundation Haus Seefahrt. As the oldest social fund still in existence, the foundation was established by the Bremen City Council in 1545. The money collected here since then has been used to provide for the surviving dependents of skippers who died at sea as well as a welfare organization for old captains and their wives or widows. For some years now, the sponsorship of nautical students has also been added.
"Being accepted as a commercial member of the Foundation is considered one of the highest honors that can be achieved by men and women working in business," says Jan-Oliver Buhlmann. You cannot apply but must be nominated. There are commercial members and seafaring members. New members are appointed every year. The three commercial newcomers are Philip W. Herwig (right side on photo) as 1st Schaffer, Dr Heidi Armbruster-Domeyer as 2nd Schaffer (middle) and Jan-Oliver Buhlmann (left), who is the 3rd commercial Schaffer.
Only Commercial Schaffer and Captain Schaffer may attend the exclusive event, accompanied by around 100 special guests. The only exception is the President of the Senate and Mayor Andreas Bovenschulte, who is not a guest in his political capacity, but as the host of the Town Hall. All members of the foundation who have once helped organize the Schaffermahl as a Commercial Schaffer or Captain Schaffer can take part every year. (Photo: Klaus Fittschen, Media pictures)