Pöppelmann celebrates its 75th anniversary with a beach party on the lake

On Saturday (25 May), we celebrated the 75th anniversary of our company with more than 2,400 Pöppelmann colleagues, pensioners and our loved ones at Seepark Zülpicher See with a fantastic beach party. This celebration was the centrepiece of our three-day ‘trip into the blue’ to the Rhine, to which the Pöppelmann family had invited all of the company's employees and retirees.

One of the highlights was the concert by pop-rock singer Michael Patrick Kelly in the evening in the marquee by the lake. Partner Felicitas Pöppelmann only revealed the secret of who would be taking to the stage as the star guest just before the performance. The socially committed artist not only impressed with a magnificent stage show that evening, but also with an impressive appeal for peace. With one of his ‘Peace Bells’, a bell cast from war scrap, Kelly rang in a minute's silence for peace and international understanding on the concert stage, while the signing of the Basic Law in 1949 was being celebrated in Bonn, just a few kilometres away.

This was combined with the commemoration of Josef Pöppelmann, who 75 years ago this year, after the end of the war and Nazi terror, plucked up the courage to found a cork factory. In a former chicken coop on his parents' farm in Lohne-Brockdorf, he laid the foundation stone for our family business, which now operates worldwide. In a moving speech, the daughter of the company founder, Hildegard Forst, emphasised how this courage from the early years has had and continues to have an impact to the present day and beyond. Together with her mother Gertrud Pöppelmann and the long-standing Managing Director Karl-Heinz Diekmann, her father had brought the company forward with diligence and optimism. ‘Without him, we wouldn't be celebrating this great party today,’ she said to cheers from the workforce.

Our XXL company outing started on Friday at 2 pm. 49 buses travelled to a total of 13 hotels in Cologne, Bonn and Königswinter. On Saturday morning, there were opportunities for boat trips and sightseeing tours. In the afternoon, the never-ending convoy of coaches heading towards Lake Zülpich amazed passers-by in the villages along the route.

This amazement was then seamlessly taken over by the Pöppelmann guests on arrival. The Höffmann-Reisen team in charge of the organisation had transformed the Seepark into an impressive party location over the previous weeks. Snack stands from caterers from the district of Vechta provided a suitable party buffet in the food oasis on the covered forecourt of the large marquee. The Big Band Bösel kicked things off with a performance on the lakeside stage further down the beach. Anyone who wanted to could go swimming in the Aquapark, go pedal boating or enjoy a view of the idyllic landscape from above on the Flying Fox cable car. Beach chairs invited visitors to chill out and photo boxes were available for special souvenir photos.

‘It is a tradition at Pöppelmann to give employees presents on special occasions. And this party is our gift to you! We want to celebrate you for everything you have done and continue to do for our company,’ said Catherin Vitale, granddaughter of the company founder, shareholder and Chairwoman of the Advisory Board, in her welcoming speech.