Stan Fynes-Clinton is of 1820 settler stock on his mother's side, and was born in Salisbury (w Harare), Southern Rhodesia, in 1936. He was educated at the Bulawayo Convent, Rhodes Estate Preparatory Primary School (REPS) and Plumtree Secondary School. On leaving school in 1955, he joined the Native Affairs Department, later to become the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and rose to the position of District Commissioner in 1967. During his twenty-five years' service in the ministry he was posted to fifteen districts throughout Southern Rhodesia/Rhodesia and made a close study of African customs. After independence in 1980, interference by politicians made his position untenable, resulting in his resignation from the ministry in January 1981. The recent serious ecomic decline in Zimbabwe has forced him to continue working at a time when his expectation had been to enjoy the security and peace of retirement.