She's a chartered surveyor who came to Hong Kong with her husband in 1980 after working in several Gulf states. Now Maggie Brooke is committed to preserving the past in her new home, and her group Heritage Hong Kong is involved in the renovation of the Blue House in Stone Nullah Lane. The Blue House in Stone Nullah Lane is the centre of a vibrant Wan Chai community and one of several projects up for renovation. The convenor of the non-profit conservation group Heritage Hong Kong, Maggie Brooke, is putting forward a proposal on how her foundation, along with the community charity St James' Settlement, would like to see the place renovated and used. 'This is really our first project - getting involved with assisting with Blue House. When it was added to the Development Bureau's revitalisation programme, we put in a joint expression of interest with St James' Settlement to assist with the Blue House and now we're waiting to see what the results of that are,' said Ms Brooke, who has lived in Hong Kong since 1980 and is keen to see some of the city's remaining heritage saved and put to good use. Ms Brooke, a chartered surveyor, came to Hong Kong in 1980 with her husband, Nick. At the time, he was about to start as a deputy general manager at Swire Properties, but subsequently they branched out on their own. Ms Brooke is from a family of surveyors and so it was a natural move for her to study estate management at university. 'I'm the son my father never had,' she laughs, but she has no regrets about a career choice that has provided a chance to travel. Prior to their arrival in Hong Kong, Ms Brooke and her husband worked in several Gulf states. While their work has taken them to the mainland, Vietnam and many other places, she is also keen to preserve the heritage of her home. Heritage Hong Kong is a foundation of surveyors and architects and also people from all walks of life interested in preserving the city's past. 'Now that Heritage Hong Kong is established as a foundation, we have started an activity programme - we decided it was important to have projects to take forward, so that we would have credibility as a foundation with the public. 'We're going ahead and preparing some of the proposals [for the Blue House] in consultation with the local residents. It is quite complicated, as some of the local residents want to go back into the Blue House once it is renovated.' She says this is relatively novel, as most heritage buildings are normally empty when they are taken over for renovation, and often previous tenants do not want to move back in afterwards. 'It's a grade one-listed building. Previously it was a hospital. But its current incarnation is residential. It has always had a Chinese medicine store on the ground level.' Ms Brooke is also keen that the former Central Police Station complex be preserved for the community. She likes the Jockey Club's suggestion for the complex, but is not in favour of the suggested plan for a tower. 'Recently, we had an independent exhibition of alternative designs for the Central Police Station, to try and generate public debate in respect to the plan put forward by the Jockey Club. It is very interesting and very impressive in lots of ways, but we wanted to show alternatives that people have come up with over the years and see what people thought.' Ms Brooke has two sons, one of whom lives in Beijing, and she is a grandmother. 'I love the pace of this city and at the moment it's a great time to be involved in the property world. It's also a place where you can make a difference. We also like the scenery here.' When she and her husband are not working, they are avid long-distance runners. Both have taken part in most of the marathons in the region, and in London and New York. Work has prevented Ms Brooke from running any big marathons over the past couple of years, but she now does race walking. 'We're also keen Trailwalkers - we take part every year, and no doubt we'll be taking part this year,' said Ms Brooke with a casual tone that belies the 100km-long, arduous route of the walk. 'I tend to be slightly hyperactive, so race walking is very calming.'