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Date:         Mon, 30 Oct 2000 12:18:55 +1100
Reply-To:     Conchologists of America List <CONCH-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Sender:       Conchologists of America List <CONCH-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From:         Patty Jansen <capric@CAPRICORNICA.COM>
Subject:      Walter Cernohorsky and NZ shell show
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

Dear all,

I had a very enjoyable (but tiring) weekend at the New Zealand Shell show, which was held this past weekend in Auckland. It was busy, I met lots of new people. Being a small and isolated country, New Zealand does not have all that many shell people, but their enthusiasm more than makes up for their small numbers. We all know some of them, apart from those on the list (hi Barbara, Neville) some of the more famous names are Bruce Marshall and Alan Beu as professionals and collectors Mike Hart, Nick de Carteret, Kevin and Judy Burch and many more (sorry guys). And although they now live in Australia, professional malacologists Winston Ponder, Bill Rudman and Richard Willan are New Zealanders, too. And then of course there is Walter Cernohorsky. Walter worked in the Auckland Museum for years, most of his collection is in the museum. He is best know for his series Marine Shells of the Pacific and his papers on Indo-Pacific Mitridae and Nassariidae amongst others. Wes Thorsson contacted Walter about weeks back and reported on this list that Walter was now no longer interested in shells and was surprised at the fact anyone in the shell world still wanted to know about him. The feeling this left me with was one of sadness, and I imagined him as a frail, somewhat bitter old man. I don't know how many of you were left with the same impression.

So I must confess it was with some trepidation I arranged to visit him at his house in Auckland last friday. When the car drove into the motel grounds I immediately saw I need not have worried. He is a healthy-looking, happy senior citizen, very much active and part of life. We immediately found something to talk about and did not stop for the rest of the evening. Although he no longer works on shells, he keeps his mind very active with his new-found passion for heraldry. What surprised me was the passion with which he spoke about his work in shells and his memories of trips with Tucker Abbott, and meeting the greats of the shell world. They were obviously memories dear to him. He does not regret his decision to quit working on shells. After all, people move on.

He asked me to say hello to all those on the list who inquired about his wellbeing, which I am very happy to pass on. He was, in his professional carreer, and is now a most remarkable man.

Patty Jansen


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