Obituary: Lewis Romanis, former teacher, 91

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Tributes have been paid to former headteacher, church elder and committed Boys’ Brigade captain Lewis Romanis, who has died at the age of 91.

The Portobello grandfather-of-two was described as a “born leader” who gained the respect of “everyone he came into contact with”.

Mr Romanis, a former Boroughmuir High headteacher, was born in 1920 to Andrew and Jane Romanis, in the Capital.

He graduated from Edinburgh University with an honours degree in Maths and was later called up for National Service at the end of the Second World War, serving for a short time in India and on home soil.

After leaving the army, in 1948 Mr Romanis began teaching and went on to become head of Boroughmuir for 16 years, until his retirement in 1982.

He became elder of St Cuthbert’s Church, on Lothian Road, in 1951 – the same church in which he married his wife Morag, also a teacher, in 1950, and where his two children, Euan and Alison, were baptised.

He was an elder there for more than 60 years and remained heavily involved in the church until his death.

Reverend David W Denniston said: “He was well respected and loved within the congregation of the church, and regularly attended up until very recently.”

Upon retirement, Mr Romanis remained active through his work with the local library and provost group where he lived in Portobello.

As well as his church and school work, he was interested in sports, and was a keen member of Inverleith Hockey Club, Trinity Academicals rugby and cricket clubs and Boroughmuir Rugby Club.

As captain of the 40th Edinburgh Boys’ Brigade Company for nearly 20 years, he was well respected and enjoyed being involved in its community.

His son Euan said: “He had a very strong faith, and was ordained as a church elder.

“He was very dedicated, and everything he did he put his whole self into. Rugby and the Boys’ Brigade were his two great passions.”

A funeral for Mr Romanis was held on Thursday in St Cuthbert’s Church and was attended by more than 90 relatives and friends, including his wife and two grandchildren, with Reverend Denniston delivering a speech acknowledging the time he had given to the parish.

His son added: “He demanded high standards of everything he did but he was a born leader and gained the respect of everyone he came into contact with. He will be sadly missed.”