Very important cultural society of Croats in BiH is Napredak (meaning "progress"; not to be confused with Progress, which is the name of the cultural society of Serbs in BiH).
Napredak was founded in 1902 and existed continuously until 1949, when the communist Yugoslav rule dissolved the society and its numerous offices and branches, and confiscated the entire movable and immovable property (buildings, libraries, books, cars, schools, bookshops, stationer's, bookbinderies, etc). The official 1949 document mentions even confiscation of "eventual organizations of Napredak not mentioned in the document". And Napredak was also the proprietor of cultural and historical collections, choirs, brass orchestras, student dormitories, etc.
The following list of offices and branches that have been dissolved by communist ex-Yugoslavia in 1949 shows clearly the power of Napredak, see [Maric, Pregled..., pp 357-359]:
* central head office in Sarajevo,
* county offices in BiH: Bosanski Samac, Gradacac, Ljubusko, Posusje, Sanski Most, Siroki Brijeg, Teslic, Tuzla, Vares, Zenica Zpece, Bosanski Brod,
* branches of Napredak: Banja Luka, Brcko, Breza, Bugojno, Busovaca, Doboj, Dreznica, Fojnica, Gradacac, Konjic, Ljubuski, Mostar, Posusje, Novo Sarajevo, Stolac, Bosanski Samac, Siroki Brijeg, Travnik, Tuzla, Visoko, Zavidovici, Zenica, Zepce, Vares Majdan, Zagreb, Bosanski Novi, Teslic, Sanski Most, Novi Seher, Olovo, Jasenice, Lug, Dubrave, Selo, Zavidovici, Livno, Derventa Capljina, Vares, Kiseljak, Jajce, Bijelo Polje, Gnojice, Cim, Buna, Lukavac, Zivinice, Pasci, Japnica, Pogrioci, Dokanj, Breske, Husinci, Orasje, Kolovrat, Krizavne, Bukinje, Crnac, Jare, Duvno, Uzarici, Prijedor, Ledenice Hrvatske, Hrgovi, Turic, Spionica Hrvatska, Drinovci, Polje, Ljepunice, Vijaka, Pogari, Mamici, Vinica, Krcevine, Ocevlje, Vir, Borovica, Cerin, Grabova Draga, Klobuk, Humac, Grab, Komusina, Baric, Vrucica, Gradnici, Blizanci, Ravno, Pocjane, Zarudje, Turbe, Bosanska Gradiska, Dubrocica, Sasina, Stara Rijeka, Poljak, Vionica, Odzak, Potoci, Raspotocje, Dolac, Voljevici, Gradisce, Janjici, Crkvice, Cajdras, Gornja Zenica, Crveni Grm, Podbrezje, Susanj, Trebinje, Ulatice, Budzak, Bijeljina, Blazevac.
We mention that in 1936 Napredak had as many as 151 branches with over 20,000 members. Among outstanding members and collaborators of Napredak were:
Josip Andric, Ivo Andric, Vladimir Bazala (philosopher), Enver Colakovic (poet and writer), Drago Cepulic (professor), Mak Dizdar (poet), Dragutin Domjanic (poet), Krunoslav Draganovic (historian), Milovan Gavazzi (famous ethnologist), Petar Grgec (writer and leader of the prestigeous literary society of St. Jerome in Zagreb), Stjepan Gunjaca (historian), Muhamed Hadzijahic (writer), Rudolf Horvat (historian), Stefa Jurkic (writer), Mile Budak (writer), Kristian Krekovic (painter, stipendist of Napredak during the secondory school), Gabrijel Jurkic (painter, stipendist of Napredak), Aleksandar Kokic (writer from Backa), Sida Kosutic (writer), S.S. Kranjcevic (poet and writer), Hamdija Kresevljakovic (outstanding Muslim-Croatian intellectual), Husein Muradbegovic (poet), Alija Nametak (writer), Vinko Nikolic (poet and writer), Stijepo Obad (historian), Marko Perojevic (historian), Leon Petrovic (historian), Josip Poljak (medicine specialist and mountaineer), Vladimir Prelog, Tin Ujevic (poet), Nikola Zic (historian), and many others.
Napredak calendar book from 1907, note Croatian Coat of Arms
One of the greatest Croatian kajkavian poets is Dragutin Domjanic, whose roots are according to the family tradition from Bosnia. The poem below has been published in 1928 on the occasion of the assassination of Stjepan Radic, Croatian politician, in the Yugoslav parliament in Belgrade.
The anthem of Napredak was written by a Croatian lexicographer Bratoljub Klaic, and composed by a famous Croatian cellist Rudolf Matz:
Silni, slavni, snazni bili su Hrvati,
Among 6,300 stipendists of Napredak were two young BiH Croats:
* Ivo Andric, Nobel prize laureate for literature in 1961,
* Vladimir Prelog, Nobel prize laureate for chemistry in 1975.
Another stipendist of Napredak was academician Ivo Padovan, president of Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Zagreb. It is important to mention that the Napredak schools (and not only schools) were open also to Muslims, Serbs and Jews. Napredak was revived in 1990 with the advent of democratic changes in ex-Yugoslavia.