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New Zealand Miniature Bottle Club

NZMBCMember - Dianne Opie

My Name is Dianne Opie. I was born in Australia but have lived most of my life in New Zealand on a farm outside Patea, Taranaki. I now live not far away in Hawera. I started collecting bottles in 1968 on a working holiday to New Zealand. I bought these as souveniers to take back to Australia. The ones I chose were generally drinks that I had tried for the first time on that trip. Needless to say I did not keep that up as, if I had, I would now have sampled over 8,000 drinks resulting in a rather obvious problem! The very first mini bottle I bought was a Bacardi. When I returned to Australia I started picking up minis from the bottle store accross the road from where I worked.

By the time I came to live permanently in New Zealand I had accumulated approximately 600. I never displayed these whist in Aussie as I thought people would think me crazy collecting miniature bottles! The collection remained packed away for several years and was not added to as we were hard up in those days. Pam Fowler was another local farmer's wife and we became friends. I then discovered that her mother also collected minatures and she had a wonderful collection. This rekindled my interest to the extend that I started collecting again, bought and modified a cabinet and put them on display.

In February 1983 I saw an advert in the newspaper for an auction of miniature bottles breing held by Port Nicholson Miniature Bottle Club (now the New Zealand Miniature Bottle Club) in Wellington. By coincidence I was going to Wellington that weekend and so attended the auction and joined the club. It was great to meet so many other people who were as crazy as I considered myself! I have been a club member ever since and was Supplies Officer for many years. For 20 years the club held it's AGM on our farm and most members came for a long weekend away. Originally we had tents and caravans as well as accomodation in the farmhouse. In later years we also ran a diving school on the farm and had an accomodation block built for that, which was ideal for the Patea Weekends as they came to be known.

Unfortunately, having recently sold the farm and moved house, my bottles are once again packed away, together with the 36 cabinets that they go into. However as soon as possible I want to get them displayed again.

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My Favorite Bottle

Click on the image below for Dianne's favorite bottles