Traub, Theodor Fr. (1883-1947)

Prepared by: 
Regina Ganter
Birth / Death: 

born 1883, Bann (Palatine)

died 16 September 1947 Argentina, age 64

First Pallottine Father at Lombadina, but only stayed in the Kimberley for three years (1909-12) after barely surviving a cyclone.


Theodore Traub became a Pallottine in 1899 and received his habit in 1902. He was ordained in 1908 and left for Australia with his classmate Fr. Droste and Br. Bringmann in December 1908 via Rome and Naples, arriving at Fremantle in January 1909.1 Br. Wollseifer commented:


In Fathers Droste and Traub it shows that they have recently arrived from Limburg where virtue and piety are at the top of the times.2


When the Pallottines extended their effort to Lombadina Fr. Traub was stationed there. Paddy Djagween recollects it was Fr. Traub who took them to the bay to meet the first Sisters arriving at Lombadina with a grand corroboree.3 Joseph Dugal also recalls the Pallottines setting up at Lombadina after Harry Hunter and Fr. Emo: ‘Fr Traub makem mission on the point but it was wrong place because we work on mission. We worked for the priest making house at Lombadina Point. Theodore Traub was there first.’4


Fr. Traub was on the mission lugger Pius with two Brothers during a cyclone in 1910 that sank a passenger steamer and thirty pearling luggers:


They were at the mercy of the tumultous sea for the entire night from 6pm to 6am. At dawn when the waves threw the vessel on to a reef, those on board scrambled ashore, at least saving their lives, but the lugger broke up in the waves.5


The lugger had been loaded up with cargo for Lombadina and was a heavy loss for the mission. Nailon believes that the experience may have affected Fr. Traub’s nervous constitution. In January 1912 Fr. Bischofs reported that Fr. Traub and Br. Labonte had left for Germany.6 Traub was in a state of 'complete nervous exhaustion.'7


In 1922 these two were part of a group of ten ceremoniously farewelled from Vallendar as the first Pallottine expedition to South Africa. Fr. Traub served at Oudtshoorn for seven years, and spent his last nine years in Argentina.




1 Berichte über Ereignisse im Missionshaus Limburg 1980-1912, p.7, in Australien 1900-1907 B7d, l (3) and File Note in Droste, Wilhelm [P] P 1 Nr 17 ZAPP.

2 Wollseifer to Kugelmann, 15 Juni 1910, Nachlass Kugelmann, B7d.l (1) ZAPP.

3 Sr Brigida Nailon CSB Nothing is wasted in the household of God – Vincent Pallotti’s Vision in Australia 1901-2001, Richmond: Spectrum 2001:38.

4 Joseph Dugal in Sr Brigida Nailon and Fr. Francis Huegel, This is your Place – Beagle Bay Mission, Pallottine Centre, Broome, 1990:159.

5 Georg Walter Australia – Land, People, Mission, Lahn Verlag Limburg, 1982:178.

6 Bischofs to Kugelmann 9 January 1912, Australien: Nachlass Kugelmannn B7d,l(1) ZAPP.

7 P. Heinrich Menzel SAC ‘Zum Goldenen Jubiläum unserer Kimberley-Mission in Australien’ Pallottis Werk 1951/1:16.