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.