Vasco Joaquim Rocha Vieira

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Vasco Rocha Vieira

Gen Vasco Rocha Vieira.png
138th Governor of Macau
In office
23 April 1991 – 19 December 1999
PresidentMário Soares
Jorge Sampaio
Preceded byFrancisco Murteira Nabo (Acting)
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Edmund Ho Hau Wah (as Chief Executive of Macau)
Minister for the Azores
In office
10 July 1986 – 18 April 1991
Prime MinisterAníbal Cavaco Silva
Preceded byTomás George Conceição Silva
Succeeded byMário Pinto
Personal details
Born (1939-08-16) 16 August 1939 (age 80)
Lagoa, Portugal
Political partyIndependent
Spouse(s)Maria Leonor Soares de Albergaria
ChildrenPedro (b. 1977)
João (b. 1978)
Filipe (b. 1984)
OccupationArmy officer
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese韋奇立
Simplified Chinese韦奇立

Vasco Joaquim Rocha Vieira, GCTE GCC GCIH ComA (Chinese: 韋奇立; b. Lagoa, Portugal, born on 16 August 1939), is a retired Portuguese Army officer who was last Governor of Macau.


He is the son of João da Silva Vieira (b. Lagoa or Faro on 9 November 1913) and his wife, Maria Vieira Rocha and being the paternal grandson of André de Sousa Vieira and his wife, Teresa de Jesus da Silva.


He is a Portuguese Administrator and a General Officer of Military Engineering of the Portuguese Army with the Course of the Army School and Licentiate in civil engineering by the Instituto Superior Técnico (Superior Technical Institute) of the University of Lisbon, and has the General and Complementary Course of the General Staff of the Army, the Superior Course of Command and Direction of the Portuguese Armed Forces and the Course of National Defense.


Among many other things Vieira was a civil servant in Macau prior to his governorship, being the Chief of General Staff of the Independent Territorial Command of Macau from 1973 to 1974 and Deputy Secretary for Public Works and Communications of the Government of Macau from 1974 to 1975. He then became Director of the Arm of Engineering of the Army from 1975 to 1976, Chief of General Staff of the Army and by inherency a Member of the Conselho da Revolução (Revolutionary Council) from 1976 to 1978 being the Captain of April who lasted more in Portuguese politics, with an extensive curriculum of public service. He was also made Honorary Director of the Arm of Engineering of the Portuguese Army.

After that he was the National Military Representative at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Belgium from 1978 to 1982, and then a professor and subdirector at the Instituto de Altos Estudos Militares (Institute of Military High Studies) from between 1982 and 1983 to 1984 and from 1984 to 1986 respectively. He served as the Minister of the Republic to the Autonomous Region of the Azores from 1986 to 1991.

Finally, he served as the 138th Governor of Macau from 23 April 1991 to 19 December 1999 and being the last Portuguese Governor of Macau prior to the 1999 handover of the colony back to China. It became famous at the act of transition and the removal of the Portuguese flag when he put it, folded, next to his heart. Some had even bet then that it will not be this his last post.

Since the handover, Vieira is a senior member of the Portuguese Golf Association (Associação Portuguesa de Séniores de Golfe). Before the handover he also founded and is an active element at the Jorge Álvares Foundation (Fundação Jorge Álvares), named after the first Portuguese who is said to have arrived to China, Hong Kong and Macau. Another former Governor of Macau, General António Lopes dos Santos, served as president of the Jorge Álvares Foundation from 2000 until his death in 2009.[1]


He was granted with numerous decorations, both national and foreign, among those:

Personal life[edit]

He married in Alcântara, Lisbon, on 20 November 1976 to Maria Leonor de Campos de Andrada Soares de Albergaria, born in Lisbon on 18 April 1949, Licentiate in Roman Philology at the University of Lisbon and the daughter of João José Cabral Soares de Albergaria, 3rd Viscount (formerly Barons) da Torre de Moncorvo (with a Coat of arms of de Morais and Sarmento) and Representative of the Title of Viscount de Morais Sarmento, a mechanical engineer, and wife Maria Júlia Pellen de Campos de Andrada, of the Family of the former Counters of the Counts of the Realm and House, and he had three sons:

Further reading[edit]

  • Vasco de Bettencourt de Faria Machado e Sampaio, Gente Ilustre, 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2001 (posthumously)


  1. ^ "Former Governor Lopes dos Santos dies". Macau Daily Times. 3 August 2009. Archived from the original on 30 December 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2009.
Political offices
Preceded by
Tomás George Conceição Silva
Minister for the Azores
1986 – 1991
Succeeded by
Mário Pinto
Preceded by
Francisco Murteira Nabo
Governor of Macau
1991 – 1999
Position abolished
Edmund Ho Hau Wah
as Chief Executive of the Macau Special Administrative Region