Johnny's egg-cellent hobby

STACKED UP: Johnny Green says the egg cup is an Easter classic.
STACKED UP: Johnny Green says the egg cup is an Easter classic.

WAR veteran Johnny Green made sure he packed his beloved egg cup each time he was deployed with the British Army.

The dainty china possession was given to him when he was nine by his mother,  just two years before she died.

Green carried it everywhere - to the barracks, to Hong Kong, through the Korean War and finally to New Zealand.

The 84-year-old Aucklander says the cup, given to him with a chocolate egg for Easter, was the first in what is now a mammoth collection of close to 8000.

"I was told 'people who collect stuff attach a lot of emotion to the items'," Green says.

"The one that started me off was the one my mother gave me and that is where the emotion comes from."

The cup was stolen in the early 1990s when Green had his collection on display in Thames.

But he didn't let that dampen his passion.

"It was devastating. It meant so much to me but I have other favourites now, like my Snow White series."

Egg cups made out of everything from plastic to wood to Crown Lynn china are dotted throughout his house and garage.

"If there is a substance known to man then there will be an egg cup made out of it," he says.

"And if you become an icon in England, nine times out of 10 your face will end up on an egg cup."

He says he gets one classic response from anyone who sees his collection for the first time.

"When I open the doors they just go 'oh wow' and stare."

Green gives talks and shows part of his collection to interested community groups and clubs.

He's now thinking about the collection's future.

"My family doesn't want them all. They will just end up out there in the skip.

"I don't want that, I want them to be on display and for people to enjoy them so I am looking for somewhere permanent to house them.

"I started collecting just after I came here to New Zealand, so I've been doing it for 53 years and I don't want that to just stop and go to waste."

Information: Johnny Green, phone (09)828 8930 . 

Central Leader