Špiro Tomanović  - professor

Great-grandson of the famous Nikac from Rovin, Spiro Tomanovic was born in Lepetane in 1867. His father, captain Filip Tomanovic, was a famous seafarer and ship owner, and his mother, Rosanda, was a daughter of a famous mathematician Mato Mrsa. Spiro’s destiny was determined by a family tragedy: his father’s brother, also a captain, tragically lost his life at sea when he was only 26 years old. This event prompted the family not only to sell the ship bearing the captains’ name, but also to decide that the young Spiro, then only a year old, would not continue the family seafaring tradition. Instead, he was given a very thorough education, went to best schools of that time, and chose to study mathematics and physics at the Philosophy University in Graz [Austria]. In 1899 he married the women he adored, the namesake of his mother, Rosanda, daughter of  Dr. Lazar Tomanovic.

In 1913 Spiro Tomanovic became the director of the Cetinje classical school preparatory to the universities, where he served till 1919, when he was sent to Belgrade [Serbia] to work on the higher education reform in the Ministry of Education. Later he became the principal of schools in Valjevo and in Podgorica. During the Austro-Hungarian occupation he saved the schools’ archives by transferring them to a safe location, while at the same time the occupying army took his apartment in the center of the city and destroyed his complete library and his whole apartment. During that time he also did a lot for the Montenegrin poor and Montenegrin captive soldiers. An interesting anecdote illustrates how entwined were education and the love of homeland, not only for Spiro Tomanovic, but also for the rulers of that time. In the year 1910 Spiro was the principal teacher to the first generation of Montenegro students at the classical school preparatory students in Cetinje. As a gift after graduation, they were given an excursion of the Montenegrin coast, paid for by the Montenegrin King Nikola. They traveled by the king’s yacht, as king was very keen that the students see and come to love the Montenegro coast. That’s why after the excursion, Spiro Tomanovic was summoned at the king’s palace and had to give a lecture on the students' and his impressions of the trip. Furthermore, the students later wrote essays about their impressions, and the best ones were sent to the king.

Professor Spiro Tomanovic loved his vocation and spent all his free time in pursuit of knowledge. He received periodicals on mathematics, physics, and  natural sciences, which were published in Vienna and Graz [Austria]. He followed the developments of political, literary and scientific thought in Montenegro, Serbia and Austria. He believed it was his duty to help and support all national movements, organizations, newspapers, and institutes by Yugoslav people in Austria. Throughout his life he maintained friendly relationships with his former students, who remembered him very fondly and with great respect. He died in Kotor, in 1932.