Vasco Joaquim Rocha Vieira

Vasco Joaquim Rocha Vieira

Vasco Joaquim Rocha Vieira (b. Lagoa, August 16, 1939) was the last Governor of Macau.


He is the son of João dn|Silva|da Silva Vieira (b. Lagoa or Faro, November 9, 1913), and wife Maria Vieira Rocha, and paternal grandson of André dn|Sousa|de Sousa Vieira and wife Teresa de Jesus dn|Silva|da Silva, daughter of João Francisco dos Reis and wife Gertrudes da Conceição Cintra and paternal granddaughter of José Francisco and second wife Teresa da Conceição (by his first wife Bárbara da Conceição he had a son José Francisco dn|Silva|da Silva, married to Maria do Rosário).


He is a Portuguese Administrator and an 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 1982/1983 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 April 23, 1991 to December 19, 1999, being the last Portuguese Governor of Macau prior to the 1999 handover. It became famous at the act of transition and removal of the flag when he put the folded flag next to his heart. Some had 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 and Hong Kong, and thus also Macau.


He was granted with numerous decorations, both national and foreign, among those:
* Grand Cross of the Order of Christ
* Grand Cross of the Order of Infante D. Henrique
* Commander of the Order of Aviz
* Medals of Distinguished Services of Gold and Silver
* Medals of Military Merit of 1st Class and 3rd Class
* Medals of Exemplary Behaviour of Gold and Silver
* Grand Cross of the Order of the Sacred Treasures of Japan
* Grand Cross of the Order of the Rio Branco of Brazil
* Grand Officer of the Order of Leopold II of Belgium
* Commander of the National Order of Merit of France
* Commander of the Order of Merit of the United States of America

Marriage and children

Married in Alcântara, Lisbon, on November 20, 1976 to Maria Leonor de Campos de Andrada Soares de Albergaria, born in Lisbon on April 18, 1949, Licentiate in Romandn Philology at the University of Lisbon, 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, he had three sons:
* Pedro Soares de Albergaria Rocha Vieira (b. Lisbon, May 16, 1977)
* João Soares de Albergaria Rocha Vieira (b. Lisbon, June 24, 1978)
* Filipe Soares de Albergaria Rocha Vieira (b. Lisbon, September 20, 1984), Licentiate in Law (Faculty of Law, University of Lisbon)

Further reading

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

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