Generational shift brings two radio companies together again

A business partnership formed nearly a half century ago has come full circle.

Victoria Mobile Radio Ltd. traces its roots to 1969, when Jim Taylor Sr. and Barney Brend founded Radicon Systems.

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During the recession of the early 1980s, Radicon went bankrupt, Jim Taylor Jr. said Tuesday. Shortly afterward, the partners restructured and in 1981, they partnered to create Victoria Mobile Radio, a wireless communications company.

The partners went their separate ways in the late 1980s, with Brend establishing Barney’s Electronic Services, and Taylor Sr. taking over Victoria Mobile Radio.

Eventually Jim’s two sons joined the company and, by 2005, Jim Sr. and his wife, Dorothy, the accountant for VMR, retired.

This month, it has come full circle with Victoria Mobile Radio acquiring Barney’s Electronics. Brothers Kerry Taylor and Jim Taylor Jr. are co-owners of Victoria Mobile Radio and as of Feb. 1, they own Barney’s Electronics as well.

The purchase brings the company a communications tower on Salt Spring Island. The tower is key to the company expanding one of its radio systems used by truckers, Taylor Jr. said.

“In some ways, you can say we have bought a piece of ourselves,” the brothers said.

A third-generation joined the firm last year. Craig, Kerry’s son, is now “learning the ropes,” they said.

Victoria Mobile Radio is located at 3300 Tennyson Rd. Bob Kerr, Ray Ngan, Heather Carter, Jason Kay, Dave Dalby, Andy Farintosh and Geoff Gullekson are on its long-time staff.

The company is one of B.C.’s largest wireless communication dealers. It is a major provider of public commercial radio dispatch service on the Island.

It specializes in wireless communication systems for private industry and government, including design, implementation and maintenance of wireless communication networks, radio dispatch systems, SCADA radio systems and wireless data systems. SCADA stands for supervisory control and data acquisition. This kind of system performs remote monitoring and control and it functions using signals through communication channels.

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