Vasco Joaquim Rocha Vieira

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Vasco Rocha Vieira
138th Governor of Macau
In office
23rd of April in 1991 – 19th of December in 1999
President Mário Soares
Jorge Sampaio
Preceded by Francisco Murteira Nabo (Acting)
Succeeded by Position abolished
Edmund Ho Hau Wah (as Chief Executive of Macau)
Minister for the Azores
In office
10th of July in 1986 – 18th April of 1991
Prime Minister Aníbal Cavaco Silva
Preceded by Tomás George Conceição Silva
Succeeded by Mário Pinto
Personal details
Born (1939-08-16) 16 August 1939 (age 77)
Lagoa, Portugal
Nationality Portuguese
Political party Independent
Spouse(s) Maria Leonor Soares de Albergaria
Children Pedro (b. 1977)
João (b. 1978)
Filipe (b. 1984)
Occupation Army officer
This name uses Portuguese naming customs. The first or maternal family name is Rocha and the second or paternal family name is Vieira.

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


He is the son of João da Silva Vieira (b. Lagoa or Faro on the 9th of November in 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 Technical 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 to 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 the 23rd of April in 1991 to the 19th of December in 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:

Marriage and children[edit]

He married in Alcântara, Lisbon, on the 20th of November in 1976 to Maria Leonor de Campos de Andrada Soares de Albergaria, born in Lisbon on the 18th of April in 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. 2009-08-03. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Tomás George Conceição Silva
Minister for the Azores
1991 – 1999
Succeeded by
Mário Pinto
Preceded by
Francisco Murteira Nabo
Governor of Macau
1991 – 1999
Office abolished
Succeeded by
Edmund Ho Hau Wah
as Chief Executive of Macau