This is 373 E Hastings. The top floor is where Celona ran his bootlegging business.
Celona was back in the spotlight with the 'Mulligan Affair'. Chief Constable Walter Mulligan had established a police pay-off system for local organized gangsters. The year was 1955 and a Toronto-based tabloid called Flash broke the story. An inquiry, led by RH Tupper, was held.
Police witnesses testified that Celona seemed to have intimate knowledge of policing affairs, such as who was being transferred and when. Joe Celona was subpoenaed to testify. Detective Grant said he first learned he was being transferred to the Dry Squad while speaking with Celona at the corner of Hastings and Gore. Celona denied this and stated he had never been shaken down by the police nor paid them off.
The Mulligan inquiry was the biggest Canadian news story of the year and the press were all over it. Joe Celona may have been a household name in Vancouver, but he wasn't well known in the rest of the country and Celona avoided having his picture in the paper. He liked the anonymity. When a photographer from the Sun took his photo, the Italian immigrant covered his face with his hat. His lawyer, Angelo Branca, tried to break the camera and Celona hit the photographer in the head. Joe did become less camera shy after this incident.
Giuseppe Fiorenza, aka Joe Celona, died in St. Paul's Hospital on March 4, 1958.
I hope you find the beauty around you.