'Hunky Bill' Konyk, legendary PNE perogy master, dies at 88

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'Hunky Bill' Konyk, legendary PNE perogy master, dies at 88

Postby radiofan » Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:46 pm

Konyk served Ukrainian-style perogies at the exhibition for 52 years
CBC News · Posted: Aug 14, 2019 10:08 AM PT | Last Updated: an hour ago


Bill Konyk, the beloved, perogy-dealing fixture of the Pacific National Exhibition, has died aged 88.

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Better known as "Hunky Bill," Konyk dished out his trademark Ukrainian-style perogies from his station at the Vancouver exhibition for 52 years. The PNE confirmed his death in a statement on Wednesday.

"It is with incredible sadness that the Pacific National Exhibition acknowledges the passing of one of our longest standing concessionaires and iconic members of our Fair family, Bill Konyk, known across the Canadian fair industry as Hunky Bill," the statement read.

"Bill passed away peacefully last night, surrounded by his family."

Konyk's reign at the PNE began as an impulse in 1967. Over a cold beer at the Ritz Hotel, a friend bet him $10 he couldn't get a booth at the exhibition, so Konyk went down to the fair and begged for one until staff gave up.

Konyk, having won his place without a plan, made the rest up as he went. For years, fairgoers could see him flying around under his tent of a booth in one of his signature T-shirts, serving up perogies and stories.

"He relished those friendships. He treated everybody the same and that was the unique thing about him," said Bill's son, Clay, speaking by phone Wednesday.

"In this life, if you take the time to listen, It can be a lot of fun. That's what our lives are about: stories. Everybody's got a story to tell."

Clay, 58, said those stories from customers visiting the exhibition from around the world are the reason his dad loved and stuck with the business as much and as long as he did.

"He just loved spending time with people ... He always had an open door policy," Clay said.

"If we were at home and somebody came over, the door was always open. There was always food on the table. A cold drink, a bed to sleep in — that's the way we grew up."

In an interview with CBC News celebrating his 45th anniversary at the fair in 2011, Bill Konyk said he had technically retired couldn't stay away. He said the business was a godsend that kept him young.

Read the full story at: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british- ... -1.5246712

Bill spent several years as Sales Manager at CFUN/CKVN in the late 1960s/early 1970s.

R.I.P. Bill.
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
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