Vasco Joaquim Rocha Vieira

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Vasco Joaquim Rocha Vieira
138th Governor of Macau
In office
23 April 1991 – 20 December 1999
PresidentMário Soares
Jorge Sampaio
Preceded byCarlos Melancia
Succeeded byEdmund Ho Hau Wah (Chief Executive of Macau)
Chancellor of the Ancient Military Orders
In office
24 April 2006 – 9 March 2016
PresidentAníbal Cavaco Silva
Preceded byRui de Alarcão
Succeeded byJaime Gama
Minister for the Azores
In office
10 July 1986 – 18 April 1991
Prime MinisterAníbal Cavaco Silva
Preceded byTomás George da Conceição Silva
Succeeded byMário Pinto
Chief of the Army General Staff
In office
14 July 1976 – 3 April 1978
Preceded byAntónio Ramalho Eanes
Succeeded byPedro Gomes Cardoso
Personal details
Born (1939-08-16) 16 August 1939 (age 84)
Lagoa, Portugal
Political partyIndependent
SpouseMaria Leonor de Andrada Soares de Albergaria
ChildrenPedro (b. 1977)
João (b. 1979)
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; born 16 August 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 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 1981, and then a professor and subdirector at the Instituto de Altos Estudos Militares (Institute of Military High Studies) from between 1981 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 1992 to 20 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. 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 1947, 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
Preceded by
Francisco Murteira Nabo
Governor of Macau
1992 – 1999
Position abolished
Edmund Ho Hau Wah
as Chief Executive of the Macau Special Administrative Region