125th Anniversary of the German MLA
On the 125th anniversary of the German MLA, Dieter Schwampe, President of the German MLA provides us with an interesting piece of history pertaining to the German MLA.
Being one of the Presidents of the German MLA, I was asked to deliver the Dinner Speech during the festive dinner we held at the Hamburg Port Club to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the German MLA. I decided to talk about the early history of the Association and was, first, really surprised, and concerned, when checking the Register of Associations at the Hamburg Local Court, finding that the first entry was from 1954. Was the Association not as old as we always thought it was?
Checking also the files of the Register, however, I soon discovered that the Association indeed had been formed in 1898, but as an unregistered Association. The Association’s own archives were kept at the offices of the German Shipowners Association. However, during the last removal of the Shipowners Association to its current offices, the archives of the two associations were mixed. Without an inventory, it seemed almost impossible to access the hundreds of files in the archives. I trace a lot of interesting stuff in filing cabinets, but there were countless piles of unsorted documents on the shelves. Wandering around, one pile caught my eyes, because the top document was the annual report of the German National Sailing Ship Association of the beginning of the 20th century. This pile promised to contain old material. When flipping through the pile, at the very bottom I found a folder, which turned out to be the original notarial deed, hand-written in old German style, with the original seal of the notary fixed to it. Going through the list of founding members is like going through a list of well-known Hamburg jurists and commercial men. After many of them streets are named, many of the names survived in companies still existing and active today. Most important, as the deed evidences, amongst the founding members were those German gentlemen, who were also the founding members of the CMI in 1897: Dr. Friedrich Sieveking, President of the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court, C.F.J Laeisz, President of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Wiegand, Director of Norddeutscher Lloyd, Arthur Duncker, Director of Nord-Deutsche Versicherungs-Gesellschaft and Privy Councillor of Commerce Sartori, President of the Kiel Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the German Nautical Association.
In the picture: Dieter Schwampe, President of the German MLA pointing to the deed
The original notarial deed referred to above
An English translation of the notarial deed can be found by accessing this link; German MLA – deed Association1898 – Comite Maritime International – CMI