One man and his 8500 egg cups


If he were richer he would col­lect Roll­sRoyce Mo­tor Cars, but Auck­land pen­sioner Johnny Green says col­lect­ing egg cups works just fine.

For more than 50 years he has col­lected the quirky pieces of crock­ery. And to date the 86-year-old has about 8500 egg cups plus an­other two that ar­rived in the mail re­cently.

But it all be­gan in 1962 when Green pur­chased an egg cup for six pence from a shop in Point Che­va­lier be­cause it looked ‘‘very sim­i­lar’’ to the one his mother had given him as a gift for Easter of 1939.

He was 9-years-old and lived in the United King­dom at the time when his mother gifted him the cup.

Two years later his mother died and he was moved to an or­phan­age. The egg cup stayed with him.

‘‘Ev­ery time I looked at it I thought of my mother.’’

Green, one of seven chil­dren, said he was pos­si­bly the only sib­ling who got a present that day.

The egg cup be­came a trea­sured pos­ses­sion for the New Wind­sor man.

As a sol­dier in the Bri­tish Army he was posted from 1949 to 1955 in Hong Kong, Korea, Ja­pan, Sin­ga­pore and Malaya. His egg cup ac­com­pa­nied him ev­ery­where he went.

In 1960, Green moved to New Zealand and the orig­i­nal egg cup made the trip too.

Af­ter he spot­ted one that looked the same as his mum’s gift, a hobby that con­sumes him to this day be­gan.

But it is not all pleas­ant me­mories for the hob­by­ist.

Around 10 years ago he was re­quested to dis­play his col­lec­tion in the Thames shop­ping area. He said he briefly turned around to talk to a vis­i­tor and when he looked back his most prized egg cup - the one his mother gave him - was gone.

‘‘Some­one stole it.’’

Green said he burst into tears and the or­gan­is­ers tried to help but that egg cup was never re­cov­ered.

He said he man­aged to pur­chase one that looked ’’ex­actly the same’’ years later.

One of Green’s favourite pieces is a set of seven egg cups each rep­re­sent­ing a dwarf from the 1937 Dis­ney clas­sic movie Snow White.

And which one of the dwarfs does he like the most?

‘‘It’s got to be Happy,’’ he said.

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