Vale Robert ‘Can­non­ball’ Dee­gan

Owner Driver - - News -

THE NSW city of Goul­burn lost one of its true char­ac­ters of the truck­ing in­dus­try when Robert ‘Can­non­ball’ Dee­gan passed away on Au­gust 29 aged 68.

Robert was the nephew of Mick Dee­gan, who started Dee­gans Trans­port in 1928 cart­ing gro­ceries in a horse and cart. Mick and his brother Jim went on to en­joy a long part­ner­ship in the busi­ness.

Robert worked for Dee­gans for well over 10 years, al­though be­fore that he spent years as an owner-driver run­ning in­ter­state in a va­ri­ety of trucks, in­clud­ing a Ford LTL 9000.

He drove for McPhee’s Trans­port as well as sub­by­ing for Ex­press Freight out of En­field in Syd­ney for many years.

“He just went off and did his own thing,” Robert’s cousin, Kim, says. “He worked for any­body.

“He’s been all over Aus­tralia, cart­ing up to the mines, and he went over to West­ern Aus­tralia with his truck.

“When he fin­ished up there, he ended up work­ing for us,” Kim adds. “He was a bit of a char­ac­ter; every­body knew him.”

Kim, who runs Dee­gans Trans­port with his brother John, re­mem­bers an in­ci­dent when Robert was fac­ing a spot of bother at the Maru­lan weigh­bridge.

“They pulled him into the weigh­bridge and were go­ing to book him. They said, ‘Pull up there mate, leave it there’. And he did. He got out, locked her up, and walked off, went up to the Ter­mi­nus Maru­lan pub and stuffed them all up.”

Kim says Robert had bat­tled can­cer for the past seven years. Be­fore that, he re­calls Robert ar­riv­ing at work con­stantly com­plain­ing about a sore shoul­der.

“I ended up mak­ing him go to the doc­tor,” he adds. “There was a tumour on top of his spine that ended up go­ing to his brain.”

De­spite a suc­cess­ful op­er­a­tion, the can­cer later re­turned. “He played hard,” Kim says. “A real lar­rikin.”

The fu­neral for Robert ‘Can­non­ball’ Dee­gan was held in Goul­burn on Septem­ber 2.

The team at Owner//Driver sends our con­do­lences to his part­ner Lor­raine and fam­ily.

– Greg Bush

The late Robert Dee­gan

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