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Radiant living

Here’s a small advertisement that appeared in the January 8 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

I assume that they were offering singing and exercises and making a collection, but that’s just a guess.

The 1935 Toronto city directory lists the Sutcliffe School at 3 Charles West. A search revealed that the Sutcliffe School for Radiant Living was the handiwork of Herbert Sutcliffe (1886-1971), an English psychologist and alternative health advocate. Starting in 1931, Sutcliffe established a total of 36 schools located in various parts of the world, 12 of which were in New Zealand.

Over the next few years, the Toronto branch of the Sutcliffe School changed locations a few times. A possibly incomplete list of locations includes 3 Charles West, 749 Yonge, 41 Cumberland, and 194 Wellesley East. The school went out of existence sometime in the early 1950s; the 1951 directory lists it, but the 1953 directory does not.

The New Zealand History website has a multi-page history of the Radiant Living movement. Sir Edmund Hillary, one of the first people to climb Mount Everest, was an enthusiastic devotee; his mother had been secretary of the Auckland branch of the school. On the other hand, the Wikipedia page for Sutcliffe claims that some of his ideas were pseudo-scientific. Sutcliffe could apparently do cartwheels on stage when he was in his sixties; whether Radiant Living had anything to do with that is, of course, debatable.

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