New Tait historical display keeps heritage alive

Today there are few prouder staff at Tait Radio Communications than Ian Gardiner.

One of the original 12 employees of Tait Electronics, Ian fulfilled the wish of late company founder Sir Angus Tait by developing the company’s historical display.

Lady Hazel Tait, Sir Angus’s widow, opened the Tait historical display last night at Tait’s global headquarters in Christchurch, New Zealand.

For visitors from the local community and the global radio industry this audio-visual installation tells the story of Tait’s origins and success across the decades.

The historical display features highlights from the last 40 years and even some time before that when Sir Angus Tait set up his first company A.M. Tait Ltd.

“Angus and I go back to 1966 and even back then he would never throw out anything, he was always collecting,” Ian says. “I think Angus would be very pleased with the display. He’ll be looking down on us having a chuckle.”

“One of the things Angus didn’t want was the emphasis on himself. He always thought what the company had achieved was a team effort and he was the figurehead.”

Ian says a common theme with Tait has been the emphasis on advanced technology for the day, something which Angus himself always insisted on and had the vision to ensure that R&D was always top of the list.

“I have been privileged to witness the transitions from valves to transistors to integrated circuits to microprocessors and now to DSP circuits for digital radios,” Ian says.

“I think we can look back and be very proud that we’ve got over 60 years of history. These days it’s common to see companies that are selling product and have only been around five years.

“The engineering is and has always been right up there with any around the world - we have been pioneering all the way,” Ian concludes.

Tait Electronics Limited incoming Managing Director Frank Owen says the historical display signals the company’s commitment to the future by unveiling a historical display that recognises a history in the land mobile radio industry that can be traced back six decades.

“The historical display is also not just a celebration of how far Tait has come, but also a commitment to the future,” Frank says.

“It is a clear signal to our customers that when they invest in Tait they are partnering with a company that has a wealth of experience at hand and will be around for many years to come,” concludes Frank.

Outgoing Tait Electronics Limited managing director Michael Chick says: “The Tait historical display pays respect to our leader, our boss and our friend, Sir Angus, whose vision and selflessness ensures longevity for staff, partners and customers.”

“But Angus knew he couldn’t do it alone. He knew the value of people. That’s why he surrounded himself with great people throughout his working career.”

“So the historical display is not just a tribute to Angus, but to the Tait staff, partners and customers who continue to keep his commitment to the land mobile industry alive.”

In 1969 Tait Electronics signed its first customer the Municipal Electricity Department in New Zealand - which ordered 83 radio telephones.

“Since then there have been vast improvements in technology,” says Michael. “Tait is now a leader in developing digital radios for public safety, while in the transport industry Tait radios can be incorporated into solutions that can provide real time passenger information or traffic-light pre-emption for fleets.”

“Yet some things haven’t changed – for example Tait is still serving electrical utilities companies around the world with conventional and trunking radio solutions,” concludes Michael.

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Tait specialises in radio solutions from public safety to urban transport and utilities.