This short article was first published in The White Hat
Melbourne Newsletter No. 489 on 13th May 2011
On most weekends you will find a strange community tucked away up a dead
end track near the mouth of the Yarra. A collection of people from different
ages, backgrounds, locations and ethnicities are all quietly united in the
activity of drowning worms. Occasionally they catch a fish but that is not
the real purpose of going to The Warmies. Itï¿½s quieter there than at home.
People donï¿½t speak unless they are spoken to. Occasionally someone will have
a radio tuned to the footy or the gee-gees or some music but never at a
volume that does violence to your own sound envelope. However you never hear
a wireless tuned to talkback radio. Youï¿½ve come to The Warmies to get away
from the incessant chatter of people telling you what they think and
therefore what you should think. At The Warmies you can have your own
thoughts in your own time. You can just let them drift in and out of your
head when they feel like it. And if they donï¿½t drift in all that often, so
much the better.
Occasionally a large ship will pass close by. A thought floats into your
head ï¿½ ï¿½Is that the same one you saw last Augustï¿½. You tell the thought the
answer doesnï¿½t matter and send it on its way.
Behind you is the Newport Power Station. It runs on gas and gets fired up
when there is a particularly heavy load on the Melbourne electrical grid.
When this happens warm water from the power station is released into the
Yarra and many fishermen believe these warm currents create the ideal
conditions for catching fish. After a sweltering day in Melbourne most will
head home and turn on their air conditioning. Others, just a few, will get
out their fishing rods because they know that with everyone else turning
their air conditioning, the Newport Power Station will be fired up and The
Warmies will be running. However, they are the serious fisherfolk, and at
the weekend they will be joined by a whole range of people because at The
Warmies there are no joining fees, no membership rules and no value
When the pressures of modern life start to mount, some people sign up for
expensive self actualization and finding inner peace classes. Some head off
to an ashram in the foothills of the Himalayas. Others just go The Warmies.