B.C. per­ogy pioneer dies at 88

The Prince George Citizen - - News -

VANCOUVER (CP) — Bill Konyk, a leg­endary Vancouver busi­ness­man who fought a hu­man rights bat­tle to main­tain his nick­name Hunky Bill, has died. He was 88. His youngest son, Mark Konyk, says his dad will be re­mem­bered as a man who opened the West Coast to good Ukrainian food, ad­ding he was a pioneer in ed­u­cat­ing peo­ple in B.C. about how to eat and make per­o­gies. Konyk died of cancer on Tues­day evening sur­rounded by his fam­ily. A state­ment from the Pa­cific Na­tional Ex­hi­bi­tion an­nounced “with in­cred­i­ble sad­ness” the death of one of its long­est stand­ing con­ces­sion­aires. Konyk was a gen­eral sales man­ager for a Vancouver ra­dio station in 1967 when he bet a friend $10 that he could get a booth at the PNE and sell his Ukrainian food.

A his­tory of the busi­ness on his com­pany’s web­site says Konyk con­vinced the ex­hi­bi­tion to give him a booth and Hunky Bill’s Ukrainian food has been a main­stay at the fair ever since. There were nu­mer­ous restau­rants and re­tail out­lets in the Lower Main­land un­der the Hunky Bill’s name. Konyk said his dad opened the door for many other per­ogy mak­ers. “When he brought them out to the West, peo­ple didn’t know what a per­ogy was. He al­ways said they thought it was a hockey puck or some­thing.”

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