Memorable Manitobans: Harry Wasylyk (1904-1995)
Market gardener, inventor.
Born at Narol on 8 November 1904, son of John Wasylyk (1871-1938) and Praczka Prytula (1884-1966), his childhood was spent on the family farm. In 1925, he moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to seek work. There, he met and was married in 1925 to Irma Wasylyk (1910-1999) and they had a son, Harry Wasylyk (1927-2013). They returned to Narol in 1929, worked as market gardeners, and had three more children.
He was an organizer and manager of the Manitoba Vegetable Co-op. He also founded Prairie Canners at Winkler and Food Products Limited, which he used to introduce polyethylene to Canada. Along with his wife, son Harry, brother Walter Wasylyk (1925-2007), and other business partners, he founded the Polyethylene Bag Manufacturing Company that introduced several plastic packaging products, including the “green garbage bag” in 1950 that has been ranked among the top 50 Canadian inventions. He and his wife were inducted into the Manitoba Order of the Buffalo Hunt for their involvement in a publicity tour to New Orleans in 1957.
He retired from business in 1965 and died at Winnipeg on 20 September 1995.
Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 22 September 1995, page 32.
Obituary [Walter Wasylyk], Winnipeg Free Press, 1 June 2007.
Obituary [Harry Wasylyk], Winnipeg Free Press, 13 July 2013.
Garbage and recycling bags, Mapco Plastics.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
We thank Varina Murray for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 8 November 2021