Vale Robert ‘Cannonball’ Deegan
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