Memorable Manitobans: William “Hunky Bill” Konyk (1931-2019)
Born at Winnipeg on 15 May 1931, he attended Norquay School, Aberdeen School, and St. John’s High School. He worked for Canadian Pacific Telegraphs until 1956 when he moved to Chicago, Illinois, living there for two years and working as a freelance sports reporter. In 1958, he met his wife Kay Eyre and they married in Winnipeg, after which he joined radio station CKY. In 1966, he moved to Vancouver, British Columbia to join radio station CJOR. He was General Sales Manager for CFUN from 1967 to 1971.
In 1967, on a bet from a friend, he obtained a food booth at Vancouver’s Pacific National Exhibition and began selling Ukrainian food under the name of “Hunky Bill’s.” The name was considered derogatory by some of Ukrainian ancestry, leading in 1980 to a legal challenge from the Ukrainain Canadian Professional and Business Association of Vancouver. He prevailed and continued to operate the business until retirement in 2011.
He died at Vancouver in August 2019.
“Perogy king planning lawsuit,” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 August 1980, page 5.
“Hunky Bill wins beef over company’s name,” Winnipeg Free Press, 27 July 1983, page 4.
“Hunky Bill defending rights to perogy-maker,” Winnipeg Free Press, 10 May 1984, page 18.
“Perogy master and PNE legend ‘Hunky Bill’ Konyk dies at 88,” CBC News, 14 August 2019.
History, Hunky Bill's.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 28 February 2020