Legendary PNE perogy maker 'Hunky Bill' dies at 88
Alyse Kotyk, CTV News Vancouver
Published Wednesday, August 14, 2019 9:11AM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 14, 2019 6:38PM PDT
A beloved PNE legend has died at 88, the fair announced on social media Wednesday.
Known as "Hunky Bill," Bill Konyk was one of the longest standing concession operators at the annual Vancouver fair, serving up Ukrainian food including his famous perogies.
He died surrounded by family Tuesday night.
Konyk was a part of the PNE family for 52 years, the fair says in its statement, adding legend says Konyk bet his friend $10 many years ago that he could get a booth selling his homemade perogies.
"The story goes that Bill showed up at the PNE administration office and spent an hour and a half convincing the then head of the PNE booth sales department to give him a chance," the PNE's statement says.
"Konyk got his booth, won his $10 and began a 52-year journey during which time Hunky Bill has become one of the most iconic pitchmen and restaurateurs in Canadian history."
The Hunky Bill's concession stand had been a family-operated business spanning three generations. Konyk's wife and three sons will continue his tradition.
"Hunky Bill will be incredibly missed by his many friends and family across Canada, including all those in his PNE Fair family," the fair's statement says.
The 2019 PNE opens this Saturday.