Yester-egg clocks up 60 years
‘‘I’ve been this way since 1956’’ – a line from 1959 song Love Potion
Number 9 – still rings true for Laura Mills. Or rather for the hollow chocolate Caley’s Easter egg Laura has kept intact and uneaten for 60 years. Talk about an Easter relic. The egg – not Laura.
Laura’s fiance Jim Rush bought her the large Dunedin-made kiwi-sized egg in March 1956 from the Broadway Milkbar, which was between Rangitikei St and Coleman Pl on The Square.
‘‘An egg that size then was a big deal...Don’t ask me how much it cost, I don’t know,’’ Laura shakes her head.
‘‘We got married in April. I was 24 then – I’m 84 now. When I got given it, I said ‘I’ll keep this – I won’t eat it, I might not get another one’.’’
And keep it she did, unintentionally for six decades, even after Jim died.
‘‘I didn’t expect to keep it this long. That was quite something for someone who likes chocolate as much as I do. It just goes to show you can keep to a thing if you want to.
‘‘But if I say I’ve got an egg I’ve had since 1956, they’ll think I’m mad... Perhaps I am,’’ Laura laughs.
‘‘It didn’t get eaten when my kids were little because those were the days when kids did as they were told.’’
She decided that because Easter 2016 marked a good round-figure anniversary, the foil-covered egg, still in its original Caley’s cardboard ‘casket’, deserved to be shown off.
Caley’s Chocolate was an English firm from Norwich that obviously had a Dunedin factory. The firm had been making chocolate since 1883, and was known for its WWI ‘Marching Chocolate’, acquiring a Royal Warrant in 1932. It was eventually subsumed into the Nestle conglomerate during the 1980s and the English factory was closed in 1994. The brand was acquired, revitalised and returned to Norwich in 1996 by a private consortium.
Laura’s egg has never been refrigerated and its casket is now kept in a sideboard cupboard in her lounge, where it’s likely to stay. Even for a chocolate fancier, the thought of cracking open the 60-year-old yester-egg is anything but appetising.
‘‘I don’t think it would taste very good,’’ she says.
‘‘But if I say I’ve got an egg I’ve had since 1956, they’ll think I’m mad...’’
– Laura Mills
Happy Easter. Laura Mills still has the hollow chocolate Easter egg her fiance presented to her for Easter, 1956.