Francis Joseph (Joe) Chithalen (November 17, 1967-May 1, 1999) was a Canadian musician who played bass with a number of bands in the Kingston music scene of the 1990s, most notably Bloom, Weeping Tile, The Mahones, Wild Blues Yonder and Haskell & The Cleavers. On May 1, 1999, Joe died tragically at the young age of 32 in Amsterdam shortly after a Mahones concert, reportedly from ingesting food containing peanuts.
Joe’s friend and former bandmate from Weeping Tile, Sarah Harmer, wrote “You Were Here”, the title track from her 2000 solo album, in memory of Joe. Joe’s MILL was established by the late Wally High – Joe’s friend and bandmate from The Mahones – along with other friends, family, and fellow musicians to carry on Joe’s legacy of sharing music.
A memorial bench was dedicated to Joe Chithalen in 2001 in McDonald Park in Kingston, Ontario (near the lion), and in 2011 a bench was dedicated to Joe’s MILL founder, Wally High, in Boucher Park on Clarence Street, Kingston, Ontario. Everyone is encouraged to visit these benches and take a few minutes to remember our dear friends.